Willie Ruff

Born: Sept. 1, 1931 Sheffield, AL

Jazz, Classical French Horn Mitchell Ruff Trio

Professor of music at Yale University. Joined Lionel Hampton's band before forming the Mitchell-Ruff Duo in the 1950's. Duo was the first jazz ensemble to perform in the Soviet Union.

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Willie Ruff

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offical Website: Willie Ruff • The Kepler Label

 

Willie Ruff (born September 1, 1931 in Sheffield, Alabama) is the hornist and bassist of the Mitchell-Ruff Duo (with pianist Dwike Mitchell) and one of the founders of the W. C. Handy Music Festival. He was born in Florence, Alabama. The duo regularly performs and lectures all over the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe. Ruff attended the Yale School of Music as an undergraduate and graduate student, and has been a faculty member there since 1971, teaching music history, ethnomusicology, and arranging. In 1976-1977, he held a visiting appointment at Duke University, where he oversaw the jazz program and directed the Duke Jazz Ensemble. He is a 1994 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

Ruff is founding Director of the Duke Ellington Fellowship Program at Yale, a community based organization sponsoring artists mentoring and performing with Yale students and young musicians from the New Haven Public School System.

In 1992, Ruff's memoir, titled "A Call to Assembly," was awarded the Deems Taylor ASCAP award. He has written profusely about Paul Hindemith, one of his teachers at Yale, and on his professional experiences with the American jazz composers, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

The Mitchell-Ruff Duo was formed in 1955 when Mitchell and Ruff left Lionel Hampton's band to form their own group. Mitchell and Ruff first met in 1947, when they were servicemen stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, near Columbus, Ohio. Mitchell, a 17-year-old pianist with the unit band, needed a bass player for an Air Force radio show, and he saw what he thought was a likely candidate in Ruff.

 

Discography

Strayhorn: A Mitchell-Ruff Interpretation - Kepler Label - CD MR-2421

Dizzy Gillespie & The Mitchell-Ruff Duo, Vol. 1 - Kepler Label - CD 2412

Breaking the Silence - The Mitchell-Ruff Duo - Kepler Label - CD 2380

Virtuoso Elegance in Jazz - The Mitchell Ruff Duo - Kepler Label - M-R 1234

Les McCann - The Mitchell Ruff Trio- 20 Special Fingers

 

As Sideman

With Miles Davis

Miles Ahead (Columbia, 1957)

Porgy and Bess (Columbia, 1958)

Miles Davis & Gil Evans: The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings (Columbia/Legacy, 1996)

With Gil Evans

Gil Evans & Ten (Prestige, 1957)

With Bobby Hutcherson

Head On (Blue Note, 1971)

Source: Willie Ruff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

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Listen: Amazon.com: /willie ruff

Listen: Mitchell - Ruff Duo - Download Mitchell - Ruff Duo Music on iTunes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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