Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kermit Ruffins: A People Person

Kermit Ruffins

It’s a Wednesday afternoon in New Orleans and trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is holding court at his corner bar, Sidney’s Saloon. He’s awaiting the delivery of some nutria-large rodents found in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands-and a couple of raccoons that he’ll cook up and offer to anyone who happens by. In the year since he acquired the spot on the fringe of his beloved Treme neighborhood, it has become headquarters for community events, Saints games and celebrations of all kinds. That’s because in this city, the always-affable Ruffins is more than a trumpeter, vocalist and bandleader. He is New Orleans.

“It will be the biggest nutria party in years and years,” Ruffins exclaims with his usual enthusiasm. “We love coming out here on any given day and throwing the biggest barbeque ever. It starts with like four people and then the text messages start going and cell phones start ringing.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published