Jersey Blue Band: Sundays at Three
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Bernardsville Library
Blue Jersey Band brings an eclectic mix of swing, jazz, blues, bluegrass, gypsy jazz to their performances. With Frank Ruck on mandolin, guitar and vocals, Ellen Ruck on guitar and vocals, and John Burton on bass guitar, they provide a lively, swinging afternoon of music. The band’s influences include Django Reinhardt, Tony Rice, David Grisman, and Freddie Green. They have played for Musikfest, Albert Music Hall, Communiversity, Cafe Improv, New England Folk Festival, Swingin’ Tern, Princeton Country Dancers, Pine Lakes Summer Series, ArtsQuest, Halo Pub Series, Minstrel Show, New Hope Arts Festival, Chico’s House of Jazz, S. Brunswick Jazz Cafe, Viridian Gallery in NYC.
Frank Ruck, originally from the Jersey Shore, started playing guitar at a young age but then went to Rowan University as a piano major. In the 1980’s, he twice won the NJ Traditional Styles Guitar Championship, and then 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 ten. She was a guitar teacher at age 16 for the Guitar Workshop in Roslyn, NY and 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.
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