Jones, “Speedy” Rufus (1936-1990)

Born in Charleston; though not a resident, he studied and played with the Jenkins Orphanage Bands; a multi-instrumentalist, he began playing trumpet, and at age 13, started playing drums; also played clarinet, violin, and saxophone; credited with being a great technical and fast (hence his nickname) drummer; played a regular gig with Sol Yaged at the Metropole (1959), a Times Square Club; recorded and played with Lionel Hampton (1954), Buddy Johnson, Henry “Red” Allen (1959-63), Maynard Ferguson (1959-1963), Oscar Peterson, Count Basie (1964-66) with whom he became noticed, Woody Herman, and most notably with Duke Ellington (1966-70); led his own quintet from 1963-64 and recorded his only album, Five on Eight (1964) as a band leader; credited with being a brilliant and explosive soloist; he passed away in Las Vegas.

Image Gallery

Selected Albums


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