Jazz pianist and drummer, The Ruckus, hails from Miami, Florida and attributes his affinity for jazz music to the fact that he and his family is Haitian, and that jazz originally began in Haiti, despite the popular belief that it was started in New Orleans.
“I’m Haitian, I play jazz, I’m probably going to inspire some people today or teach some people, but jazz was started in Haiti, it was not started in New Orleans,” explains Ruckus.
The Floridian artist credits his success as a touring musician as something that happened organically over a lifetime. Ruckus toured the world as a child and got his education through homeschooling, he officially went to school for the first time in eighth grade, and received a full scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley, playing with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder while pursuing his musical career.
The Ruckus had the good fortune of partnering with drumming legend John Blackwell, and before Blackwell’s passing, the drummer connected The Ruckus to none other than the artist formally known as Prince.
“Prince hooked it up for me, in a lot of different ways, more ways than one, it was a blessing,” says Ruckus.
KUVO JAZZ hosted The Ruckus in January at the Bonfils-Stanton Performance Studio along with vocalist and lyricist Karim, as the two are currently touring throughout the United States. Joined by Ike Spivak on the saxophone, Blake Stepan on bass, and Adam Deitch of the band Lettuce on drums, the performance was sans audience, but the group still brought a highly energetic jazz and hip-hop fusion to the space, with Karim rapping over the medley of jamming instrumentals.
Check out some of The Ruckus’ performance and interview with The DROP 104.7’s DJ Bella Scratch below.