Spotlight: Remembering Ronald McFadden

Spotlight: Remembering Ronald McFadden

Ronald McFadden

1957 – 2023

A Great American Hoofer

To Lonnie McFadden, the McFadden Family, colleagues, friends, and fans,

On behalf of the Kansas City Jazz ALIVE Board of Directors, community of stakeholders including artists, venue owners, educators, students, and patrons, we send our deepest condolences to you for the loss of our beloved Ronald McFadden.

Ronald McFadden of The McFadden Brothers was a world-class entertainer whose career spanned across many countries and venues. He happily brought all four of his instruments to the stage with passion and sure delight. We are incredibly grateful to him for sharing his voice, his saxophone, his left foot and his right foot at every performance. With a wide range of steps from soft-shoe to street-corner moonwalking, his dancing style was truly a silken touch.

McFadden shared the stage with some of the biggest names in show business, including, Wayne Newton, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Orlando, Lee Greenwood, Gladys Knight, the Count Basie Orchestra, to name a few. He played virtually all types of venues from casino show rooms to arenas and coliseums including MGM Grand and Hilton casinos in Las Vegas; Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City; Nimes Coliseum in Nimes France; Rosemont Theater in Chicago; Lincoln Center in New York; and venues here in Kansas City, including the Gem Theater in the Historic Jazz District. He performed for a variety of audiences including a USO tour to Kuwait and Iraq. He enjoyed a long tenure collaborating and entertaining alongside his brother Lonnie McFadden – dating back to his early years in elementary school. Learning and maintaining the “hoofer” tradition from his father – entertainer and all-around Kansas City hoofer, Smilin’ Jimmy McFadden, Ronald will forever be remembered as a great American Hoofer.

His dedication to building and contributing to the growth of the Kansas City Jazz ecosystem leaves an indelible impact on us all – for which we are forever grateful.

In prayer and gratitude.

Gregory A. Carroll, Board President, Kansas City Jazz ALIVE

Chris Burnett, Steve Hargrave, Emily Behrmann, Gale Tallis, B.J. Jansen, Jon McGraw, Macy Vulgamore

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