© Andrea Canter
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie presents a triple feature this week (February 16 at 9 pm) as multi-instrumentalist Rodney Ruckus brings three ensembles to the stage, including his Ruckus Hip Hop Jazz, LA Trio, and Ruckus (trio). Curator Steve Kenny has described these bands as “a conglomerate of some of the best younger jazz musicians who are also interested in the fusion of hip hop and jazz.”
A Florida native, Rodney Ruckus started playing drums at the age of two in church, and also picked up piano and bass. “As a child, I had no video games,” says Rodney. “Instead, I had musical instruments. I was willingly brought up to be engaged into music twenty-four/seven.” Rodney was introduced to jazz at age 14 in his middle school music program after moving from Miami to Sarasota, FL. With some friends, he started playing for tips outside neighborhood markets. Later, his band The Jazz Juvenocracy raised money to travel, playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz a Vienne, La Barington Jazz Club in France, and at the Umbria Festival in Italy.
Rodney attended the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship, and was selected as drummer for The Grammys in the Schools Foundation. After completing studies at Berklee, he received an Art Blakey Jazz Messengers Presidential Scholarship to the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He’s been on stage with such jazz luminaries as Tia Fuller, Ralph Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Billy Childs, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, and Charles Lloyd. Locally, Rodney performed with the Solomon Parham-Steve Kenny Quintet at the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival, with the Steve Kenny Quartet on Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, with Anthony Cox’s Free Range Quartet at the Black Dog, and has led his own ensembles at Jazz Central Studios, Reverie, the Black Dog and more. Most often he mans the trapset, but don’t be surprised if you see Rodney at the keyboard or on bass. His trio with Greg Byers and Javi Santiago recently returned from a Midwest-West Coast tour, and also released its first recording.
The bands scheduled to perform on February 16 at Reverie:
Ruckus Hip Hop Jazz includes Rodney Ruckus and Arthur “LA” Buckner on drums, Jacob Dodd and Rob Coleman and on keyboards, Yonathan Bekure on bass, and Excel as emcee.
LA Trois features Rob Coleman on keys, Jacob Dodd on piano, and Rodney Ruckus on bass and drums.
Ruckus is Rodney’s trio with Javi Santiago on piano, Greg Byers on cello, and Rodney on drums.
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie takes place weekly at 1931 Nicollet Ave South. No cover but donations appreciated to support the musicians ($10 suggested). Full Reverie jazz schedule at www.thursdaynightjazzatreverie.info