Blue Jersey Band
Blue Jersey Band plays “Django, Jazz, and Bluegrazz” – swing, jazz, blues,
bluegrass, gypsy jazz – something for everyone – tunes from the 20s, 30s,
40s, 50s, 60s. Tight harmonies, masterful flatpicking by two-time NJ Guitar
Champion. The 3-member band includes: Frank Ruck- mandolin, guitar,
vocals; Ellen Ruck- guitar, vocals; John Burton- 4-string, 5-string, and
fretless bass. We have played libraries: Princeton (NJ), Westfield (NJ),
Randolph (NJ), Middletown (NJ), New Canaan (CT); festivals: Musikfest
(Bethlehem PA), Communiversity (Princeton NJ), New England Folk
Festival (Mansfield MA), Bordentown Green Fair (NJ), New Hope Arts &
Crafts (PA); and a host of other venues: South Brunswick Jazz Café,
Perkasie Patchwork Coffeehouse, Salon 33, Café 420, Halo Pub Series,
Rock n Joe’s, Albert Music Hall, ArtsQuest , Perkins Cultural Arts Center
(Moorestown), Dragonfly Café (Somerset). We also do cocktails, contra
dances, house concerts.
Frank Ruck, originally from the Sandy Hook area of NJ, started playing
guitar at a young age but then went to Rowan University as a piano major. In
the 1980's he won the NJ Traditional Styles Guitar Championship two times
and then he traveled to Winfield, Kansas to compete in the National
Flatpicking Championship. He took up mandolin at age 40 and hasn't
stopped playing it since.
Ellen Ruck started playing guitar at age 10. She was a guitar teacher at age
16 for the Guitar Workshop in Roslyn, NY. She has continued studying at
Ashokan Western & Swing Camp. Over the years, she has also played
classical recorder with several ensembles, taught guitar, and collaborated
with Frank in several bands. She is also the sound engineer for the band,
as well as the band's agent/manager.
John Burton is a multi-instrumentalist with a wide variety of musical tastes
and experiences. He began as a drummer, taking many years of lessons.
Then he taught himself to play guitar, bass, and some piano, playing in
bands in the San Francisco Bay Area. A chance encounter with a singing
teacher, turned into a 10-year career as a professional singer. He left the
opera world to start a family and has now returned to playing bass in Blue