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INTERVIEWS

Kermit Ruffins: Swingin' and Smilin'

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There's a rebirth occurring in New Orleans music, and trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins finds himself front and center. While the post-Katrina recovery has meant many things for the Crescent City, in a number of ways it's been musicians who have taken the lead in bringing the city back to its traditions. Prior to the storm, many musicians and fans of the traditional New Orleans sound spoke despairingly about the musical future for the city that many considered to be the place where jazz got its start. Musicians found it increasingly difficult to sustain a career in their chosen field, and many ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: Live at Vaughan's

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Trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins sure knows how to throw a party, and frankly, he should. As the founder of two great New Orleans jazz bands, the Rebirth Brass Band and the Barbeque Swingers, Ruffins has become somewhat of a New Orleans musical diplomat, embracing a vigorous touring schedule that has brought him further from home than many of the city's mainstays.

Live at Vaughan's is a different story though, as Ruffins brings his Barbeque Swingers back home for a Thursday night set. The full house is in all-out party mode, and Ruffins delivers with his brand of modern New Orleans jazz, ...

DISTRICT JAZZ

Kermit Ruffins Spreads the Word

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Demonstrating his flexibility as a performer, New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Kermit Ruffins brought his Barbecue Swingers to the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage for a free concert last week and found himself greeted by the distinctive blend of audience members one can only find at the Kennedy Center's Millennium stage. Featuring free concerts daily, the Millennium Stage draws a diverse mix of tour groups, aficionados, students, families, retirees, opera fans arriving early, and sundry other individuals from all over the country and the world who have come to visit the Kennedy Center. In short, an ideal showing ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

New Orleans: Then and Now

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The Putumayo catalog generally focuses on the rather amorphous genre of world music, with titles like Brazilian Groove, Women of Africa and Greece: A Musical Odyssey. Two new Putumayo collections, however, cover somewhat less exotic, though no less musically fertile territory: New Orleans. The first disc is devoted to Kermit Ruffins, the trumpeter, singer and ubiquitous presence on the Crescent City music scene. On a recent visit to New Orleans, I found Ruffins appearing at three separate clubs in a span of four days, while also showing up on lampposts promoting the city's anti-littering campaign.

DISTRICT JAZZ

Kermit Ruffins: One Night in New Orleans

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With the temperature plunging and the streets decked out in ice and snow, there were few better ways to warm up last weekend than heading to Blues Alley for some good, old-fashioned New Orleans jazz performed by revivalist Kermit Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers. Hailing from the city of swing itself, Ruffins has dedicated his life to celebrating the music, food, and dance of his home town, and to Ruffins that means swingin' jazz Louis Armstrong style. A committed revivalist, Ruffins is not simply interested in performing the musical styles of years past. He's dedicated to reinvigorating ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: Kermit Ruffins

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Featuring six tracks from Kermit Ruffins' out-of-print Justice releases, this compilation comes just in time for Mardi Gras. It's a celebration of trad jazz and everything else that has made New Orleans so special. All that's missing is the crawdads and gumbo. That, we'll have to find on our own.

Ruffins turned forty last year. His youthful voice and expressive trumpet remind you that the Crescent City isn't a place for stressing out. Forget the urban crawl and any deadlines that have been haunting you lately. By singing our favorite songs, playing traditional jazz trumpet with authority, teaming ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: 1533 St. Phillip Street

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Especially in these times of national anxiety and its stronger foil, patriotic pride, it is both comforting and encouraging to be able to hear the sound of great, upbeat All-American music such as this latest release from Kermit Ruffins. Named for the ReBirth Brass Band founder’s new jazz club in the heart of New Orleans, Ruffins’ album tips a wide-brimmed hat to a number of the Crescent City’s older favorite sons, both native and adopted.

Combining the gruff growl and golden blare of Louis Armstrong with the humorous arrangement talents of Louis Jordan, Ruffins lets loose with a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: Big Easy

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New Orleans is one of the greatest cultural conglomerations on the face of the earth. From the remains of past conquerors like Spain and France, to leftovers from the thousands of international expatriates who gather for the Crescent City’s festivals and endless parties, it remains a gumbo within the American melting pot.

On his latest CD, Nawlins horn man Kermit Ruffins dips in a big ladle and comes up with a tasty menu of multi-ethnic flavors that range from his own roots in jazz to tinges of reggae to rock. From the opening Dixieland theme song “Tiger Rag" and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: Big Easy

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In the Vernacular...

Big Easy offers a couple of surprises but for the most part is the status quo (and a fine one at that) of what we have come to expect from Kermit Ruffins. A homegrown product of New Orleans, Ruffins represents the local journeyman musician in a town full of journeyman musicians. Ruffins is neither a great trumpet player nor a great singer. In that, he does represent all that is good about traditional New Orleans Jazz. He is cognizant of the gravity of the canon, as he strolls through “Tiger Rag," Palm Court Strut," “On The Sunny ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: 1533 St. Philip Street

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The title of this wonderful CD is the address of Kermit's new club in the Tremé section of New Orleans, not his home address. For those heading for New Orleans, Ruffins' club is a don't miss--especially if he is on the bill. 1533 St. Phillip Street is also an outstanding CD; it may well even be Kermit's career defining recording. It's definitely the best album he has released to date.

Produced by Tracey Freeman (of Harry Connick, Jr. fame), hopefully it will succeed in bringing the talent that Kermit has to the forefront of the jazz world. For those in-the-know, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: 1533 St. Philip Street

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An essential ingredient for a great barbecue is to have your coals white-hot before you throw the meat on the grill. Veteran New Orleans trumpeter, singer and bandleader Kermit Ruffins is nothing if not a Barbecue Swinger, and for his latest album, 1533 St. Philip Street , the musicians he’s recruited are ready to burn through every track, from classic blues to vintage bebop to freshly penned second line stomps.

Ruffins’ record is named after the address of his new club in the heart of the Crescent City’s Treme neighborhood , which was home to musicians including clarinetists Sidney Bechet, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kermit Ruffins: The Barbecue Swingers Live / Swing This / 1533 St. Philip Street

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Channeling the free spirit of Satchmo.

New Orleans trumpeter Kermit Ruffins has kept his light under a basket. On the scene since his membership in the Rebirth Brass Band in the early 1990s, Ruffins struck out on his own with the first of three solo outings on Justice Records, World on a String (1992). Ruffins followed his debut with two additional Justice releases, Big Butter and Egg Man (1994) and Hold on Tight (1996). In 1997, Ruffins assembled The Barbecue Swingers and recorded Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers Live for Basin Street records. Culled from a show captured at ...



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