Title/Position: Lecturer, Jazz PercussionProfile:
What would you say are the outstanding highlights of your professional life?
1. Being appointed drumset instructor at the University of Miami
2. Receiving the “Best Jazz Drummer” award two years running in a South Florida poll
3. Performing with legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius
4. Performing in London for the Queen of England
5. Co-writing with Barry Gibb
What advice would you give an aspiring young musician?
If you truly love music, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from reaching your dream. Set your intention, and allow your intention to unfold. Ignore the advice of others who tell you to do something safe or practical. Music is a gift, and you have a responsibility to give it to others.
Talk about an outstanding performance that you recall.
I performed in Wembley Stadium before a sold out audience of almost 60,000. While I was playing, I remember thinking that this particular experience would never cross my path again, and that I should try to become totally “in the moment” in order to experience it fully. The concert seemed to last forever; I then realized that the enjoyment of life doesn’t come from the number of moments, but from the depth of each one.
Steve Rucker was a member of the Bee Gees for more than ten years, and appeared with the band on the
* Tonight Show
* Oprah Winfrey Show
* Today Show
* VH 1 Specials
* David Letterman
* Rosie O’Donnell
* Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
* Command Performance for the Queen of England
In 1997, he appeared at a Bee Gees concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that was shown on pay-per-view television, HBO, and was mastered as a live album.
The CD of this performance sold more than 5 million copies, which led to a world tour of One Night Only concerts. The tour included playing to an audience of 56,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium and concluded in the newly-built Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
In the early 1980s, Mr. Rucker was a member of the Ross-Levine band, a ground-breaking jazz-fusion group. In addition to numerous appearances with them, he recorded That Summer Something and Humidity.
While a member of Randy Bernsen’s Ocean Sound Band, he recorded tracks on Paradise Citizens and Calling Me Back Home, and performed many concerts internationally, including a billing with Miles Davis.
In 1990, he recorded Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me with Gloria Estefan and for many years, he performed nationwide with Ben Vereen: appearing with Mr. Vereen and the Atlanta Symphony and the Dallas Symphony.
Mr. Rucker has also performed or recorded with
* Jaco Pastorius
* Joe Sample
* Paquito D’Rivera
* David Liebman
* Steve Khan
* Jon Secada
* Woody Herman Big Band
He is also knowledgeable in the field of recording and production, having produced two records for Active Ingredient: Building Houses and Extra Strength.
Prof. Rucker has twice been voted “Best Jazz Performer” and “Most Versatile Artist” in South Florida polls. His Drumset Improvisation class is one of the most unique programs in the country. He directs the Funk/Fusion Ensemble, which has won six Downbeat Student Awards. In previous years has created Tower of Power Ensemble and Weather Report Ensembles.
Stephen Rucker (drumset, jazz percussion) is a lecturer and instructor in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He directs the Funk/Fusion Ensemble, which has won six Downbeat Student Awards; his Drumset Improvisation class is one of the most unique programs in the country. Stephen Rucker has twice been voted “Best Jazz Performer” and “Most Versatile Artist” in South Florida polls. He recorded Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me with Gloria Estefan and performed for many years with Ben Vereen, including appearances with Atlanta Symphony and Dallas Symphony. Stephen Rucker was a member of the Bee Gees for more than ten years, and appeared with the band on the Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and a Command Performance for the Queen of England. In 1997 he performed on a Bee Gees concert at the MGM Grand Las Vegas that was mastered as a live CD that sold more than 5 million copies, and led to an extended world tour. Rucker was a member of the Ross-Levine band, a ground-breaking jazz-fusion group, and Randy Bernsen’s Ocean Sound Band, and performed or recorded with Jaco Pastorius, Joe Sample, Paquito D’Rivera, David Liebman, Jon Secada, and the Woody Herman Big Band.