Local Jazz and Blues artist brings a “joyful noise” to the Hackley Public Library as part of Black History Month series

MUSKEGON, MI – Blues music, the most representative musical form of the 1920’s in United States, emerged from the same musical and social fabric as each other early form of black American music; the pains of black people amid change.  As such, blues music was reflective of the black American struggle to achieve success in life.

Once a month, the Hackley Public Library in downtown Muskegon features a band of a different genre.  This month, being Black History Month, Jocelyn Shaw, a Librarian, had Jazz and Blues music in mind.

“I’ve known David (Rucks) for a couple years, and I ran into him at an event and thought he would be perfect,” Shaw said.

Rucks, born and raised as a Hackley kid in Muskegon, has been playing music a majority of his life.  “I lived in this building (Hackley Library), I lived next door at the Museum, I lived over across at the Hackley building, I was babysat at the Red Cross building which was next door to the Hackley house, I mean I’m really a Hackley kid, loved it,” said David Rucks of Muskegon.

“And you know, they’re paying me to make noise, in the library, hello!”  “Shhhh they used to do, now they’re saying, ‘no no no, play it play it.'”

The Ruxy Music Jazz Experience brought cool jazz sounds of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ramsey Lewis and Bob James to the lower level meeting room of the Hackley Public Library.  For two hours Rucks shared his music, free to the public, Monday evening on Feb. 9.

Rucks sang and grooved using a Keytar as he played to a recording of his own music.  The recording was created using a Keytar for the base and guitar sounds, a regular synthesizer for the piano, organ and violin, and also added to the mix was an electronic drum set.

“Your ears are irresistibly going to respond and when your ears decide to snap and your feet decide to move, the Rucks music experience places you into Jazz ecstasy,” Shaw said, as part of her introduction before handing over the mic to Rucks

Going Down Slow by St Lois Jimmy Oden, The Thrill is Gone by BB King, and Cold Shot by Stevie Ray Vaughan were a select few of the songs performed.

“It’s awesome, I’d like to dance to it,” said Larry Hewitt Sr. of Fruitport, who attended the concert with an acquaintance.

Halfway through the concert a 15 minute intermission was taken which Rucks spent talking to each attendee and thanking them for attending.

“Here I am now and I get to give back, that’s what’s really cool,” Rucks said.

The Ruxy Music Jazz Experience was the second event in the Black History Month series put on by the Hackley Public Library.

See a list of events recognizing Black History Month in Muskegon, Ottawa and Mason counties remaining.


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