Willie Ruff

Born: September 1, 1931

Willie Ruff is the hornist and bassist of the Mitchell-Ruff DUO featuring pianist Dwike Mitchell. The Duo records, performs, and lectures on jazz extensively in the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe. Ruff, who attended the Yale School of Music as an undergraduate and graduate student, has been a faculty member there since 1971 teaching Music History, courses on Ethnomusicology, an lnterdisciplinary Seminar on Rhythm, and a course on Instrumental Arranging.

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

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

His collaborations with Yale Geologist, John Rodgers on the musical astronomy of the 17th century scientist, Johannes Kepler, resulted in an important "planetarium for the ear" currently on CD and published widely in international astronomy journals.

Ruff has also written on music and dance in Russia, and on the introduction of American Jazz in China where he has lectured in Mandarin. his next book, "Six Roads to Chicago" explore's the relation of culture in Chicago to life in its hinterlands.. This information was taken from Willie Ruff's official website at www.willieruff.com. You may go there for more information on this phenomenal artist.

Instruments Played / Skills:
FrenchHorn Upright Bass


Willie Ruff Was Influenced By:
Miles Davis Duke Ellington
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"I believe that the life of a rock 'n' roll band will last as long as you look down into the audience and can see yourself and your audience looks up at you and can see themselves - and as long as those reflections are human, realistic ones."

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