Rufus Ferguson Joins Teaching Faculty

March 9, 2018- Rufus Ferguson has joined the Crescendo teaching roster! A jazz pianist based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Rufus received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Western Michigan University under the mentorship of Jeremy Siskind. During his tenure at WMU he has studied with artists such as Scott Cowan, Andrew Rathbun, Edward Simon, Frank Carlberg and participated in exclusive masterclasses with artists such as Fred Hersch, Kenny Barron, Barry Harris and more. He is an experienced performer, arranger, composer and teacher, specifically in the jazz genre.

Rufus got his start studying classical piano at the age of five. He became a gospel church organist at a young age and later began playing jazz piano at age 13. His dedication to being equally well-versed in multiple genres of music has afforded him many unique opportunities such as playing with Grammy-nominated and award-winning artists and groups of all genres.

Rufus arrangements and compositions has been played by many artist and groups such as, WMU Advanced Jazz Ensemble, the Rufus Ferguson Ensemble, the Nashon Holloway Band. These collaborative experiences led to opportunities to teach at The Keith Hall Summer Drum Intensive in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Showchoir Camps of America at Heidelburg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

He has performed at several festivals such as the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Flint Jazz Festival and the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. In May 2016, Rufus became a piano instructor at Western Michigan University where he also directs the University Jazz Lab Band.  In addition to his position at WMU, Rufus is a piano instructor for the Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo, Crescendo Academy of Music and Gilmore Education Department. He is also the Jazz Band Director at Portage Northern High School and rhythm section coach for the Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra.

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