Blue Street Jazz Band
The Blue Street Jazz Band has been a major force on the Dixieland jazz circuit for 32 years. Founded in 1983 by trumpet player Forrest Helmick and currently under the leadership of trombonist Dave Ruffner, the band has been one of the most innovative groups in traditional jazz. Original songs and creatively conceived arrangements have been the hallmark of the band along with the musical expertise displayed by each individual member on their respective instrument. The band showcases the singing of the “Siren of the San Joaquin” – Ms. Sherri Colby. Although traditional jazz is the cornerstone on which the band was built, the band earned the reputation as “The Bad Boys of Dixieland” for their eclectic tastes in music. At any given Blue Street performance the audience is liable to hear various styles of music including swing, Mardi Gras, folk songs, marches, waltzes, Latin music, and hymns. The band is capable of playing entire sets devoted to the music of Kid Ory, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, the History of Jazz, and Louis Armstrong. Audiences particularly enjoy the band’s Sunday morning gospel programs.
For the past ten years the band has played every major jazz festival in the United States and has performed in Canada, Mexico, and Europe as well. The band has record twenty-four albums. They have been top sellers at the festivals.
Dave Ruffner – leader, trombone, vocals
Forest Helmick – trumpet, vocals, founder
Rick Canfield – drums, vocals
Sam Rocha – bass, sousaphone
Nate Ketner – reeds
Matt Bottel – banjo, guitar
Jason Wanner – piano
Sheri Colby – vocalist