Kermit Ruffins plus Shamarr Allen & The Underdawgs @ Rock 'n' Bowl
Saturday August 11 (09:30 PM)
Kermit Ruffins (born December 19, 1964) is a jazz trumpeter, singer and composer from New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. He has been heavily influenced by Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and Eddy Jefferson. Ruffins accompanies a large portion of his songs with his own vocals, and he says that the highest note he can hit on trumpet is a high C note. Most of his bands perform New Orleans jazz standards, though he also composes many of his own pieces. Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote of Ruffins in a July 16, 2001 article, stating that “Mr. Ruffins is an unabashed entertainer who plays trumpet with a bright, silvery tone, sings with off-the-cuff charm and never gets too abstruse in his material”.
Kermit started playing trumpet in 8th grade at Lawless Junior High School in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. He attended Joseph S. Clark Senior High School in New Orleans’ 6th Ward. In high school, he played a little bit of classical music at the behest of a strict band teacher. Ruffins developed an appreciation for cooking through his grandmother, observing her movements in the kitchen growing up.
He co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band in 1983 while attending Clark High School, also in the Tremé neighborhood. Ruffins made his first recordings with the Rebirth in 1984. The group was inspired by another New Orleans brass band called The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a band of slightly older musicians credited with bringing influences of funk and contemporary bebop into New Orleans style brass bands. Before they achieved the popularity allowing them to play regularly in local music venues, the Rebirth often busked around the French Quarter for tips. They soon became a houseband at the Glass House, previously the Dirty Dozen’s home venue. The Rebirth once had a gig in New York City at Lone Star Cafe, but were hassled by police for having no permit when they began marching outdoors as they always did in New Orleans.
Shamarr Allen & The Underdawgs
Jazz Cat. Traditionalist. Pop Icon. Rapper. Rocker. Shamarr Allen is none of the above. The New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist who leads his own funk band, the Underdawgs, is making his mark on the national landscape as an artist determined not to be pigeonholed into any one genre. And his mounting fandom is enjoying the ride. The 2009-2010 calendar year brought tremendous opportunity to Allen, including a performance for Barack Obama, a multi-city tour with country icon Willie Nelson, studio sessions with Nelson and friends, Ray Price, Leon Russell and R.E.M., the release of the red hot Saints anthem, Bring ‘Em to the Dome (racking up an impressive 500,000 hits on YouTube) and the production of the oil spill song “Sorry Ain’t Enough No More.” A household name in New Orleans, not just for his scorching trumpet playing or playful vocals, but for his ability to bridge hip-hop, jazz, funk and rock, Allen leapt out of the box with the 2009 crowd pleasing release of “Box Who In?”
New Orleans is the only place on the planet that could have produced native son…