Blue Jersey Band plays “Django, Jazz, and Bluegrazz” – swing, jazz, blues, bluegrass, gypsy jazz – something for everyone – tunes from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s. Tight harmonies, masterful flatpicking by two-time NJ Guitar Champion. The 3-member band includes: Frank Ruck- mandolin, guitar, banjo, vocals; Ellen Ruck- guitar, vocals; John Burton- 4-string, 5-string bass. We play libraries, festivals, clubs, house concerts, parties, wineries, weddings.
This band reminded me of the movie, "Oh Brother Where Art thou" starring George Clooney. Their patter was fun and the song selections almost unique. I especially liked the old style country tunes from the 1920's and 1930's. I don't get to hear those much anymore..
Response from Blue Jersey Band:
Thanks, Dan for the nice review. Hope to do another (and different) show for your group sometime.
Price Range: Contact for rates
What to Expect
Gypsy, jazz, swing, blues, bluegrass, Irish fiddle style music, contra dance style music, instrumental and vocal performance. We provide sound amplification for a variety of room sizes including outdoors; and battery-operated amplifiers for non-electric venues.
Frank Ruck, originally from the Jersey Shore area of NJ, started playing guitar at a young age but then went to Rowan University as a piano major. In the 1980’s, he won the NJ Traditional Styles Guitar Championship two times and then he traveled to Winfield, Kansas to compete in the National Flatpicking Championship. He took up mandolin at age 40 and has not stopped playing it since.
Ellen Ruck started playing guitar at age 10. She was a guitar teacher at age 16 for the Guitar Workshop in Roslyn, NY. She has continued studying jazz styles at Ashokan Western & Swing Camp. Over the years, she has also played classical recorder with several ensembles, taught guitar, and collaborated with Frank in several bands. She is also the sound engineer for the band, as well as the band’s agent/manager.
John Burton is a multi-instrumentalist with a wide variety of musical tastes and experiences. He began as a drummer, taking many years of lessons. Then he taught himself to play guitar, bass, and some piano, playing in bands in the San Francisco Bay Area. A chance encounter with a singing teacher, turned into a 10-year career as a professional singer. He left the opera world to start a family and has now returned to playing bass in Blue Jersey Band.
Influences & Inspiration
Our influences include: Django Reinhardt, Tony Rice, Freddie Green, Gershwin.
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