Kermit Ruffins

Whether listening to a track on his newest CD, engaging him in conversation or hearing his voice on an answering machine message, one word springs immediately to mind to describe Kermit Ruffins.

Passion.

The 44-year-old New Orleans native lives it, plays it and sings about it, and nowhere is it more evident than when he discusses his craft the swinging, good-time jazz that lured him in as a teenager and continues to whet his appetite even three decades and 10 solo recordings later.

“You definitely pick that up from me. Thats definitely the way I live, man,” he said. “From the time I wake up in the morning, Im itching for my next show to happen. It cant get here fast enough for me. I think thats the basic ingredient of New Orleans music. Our traditional music. Its really just happy music. A lot of other jazz players are very technical and concentrating on studying hard.

“We study hard, too, but what we most want to do is just get up there and experiment with the tunes that we’ve been playing for years and years.

Kermit Ruffins often plays on Frenchmen Street because his favorite venues are those that have dance floors and enthusiastic crowds who are willing to dance!