Desert Island Jazz
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  • Ruth Davies (2003)

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    Photos on the Steinway grand in Ruth's living room reflect her musical career. Several pictures get one's attention. Her mother, a music teacher, inspired Ruth to earn a music Bachelor of Arts degree. Mom poses with Dad in front of a venerable Harley Davidson. There's a group of young musicians glowing during a workshop. Ruth embracing Toots Thielemans in a Baku caravansary. Ruth playing at Bill Clinton's inauguration. Ruth hamming it up with singer Jackie Ryan and composer Amina Figarova. Some photos include celebrities or famous musicians. Others simply grab one's interest. What a life Ruth has had!

    Ruth has performed with such jazz and blues greats as Charles Brown, Clark Terry, John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, Jay McShann, Van Morrison, Maria Muldaur, Junior Mance, Barbara Morrison, Etta Jones, Terry Gibbs, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Little Jimmy Scott.

    Her discography (including several Platinum and Grammy-winning CDs) covers various jazz and blues styles as well as movie soundtracks. She has recorded with Charles Brown, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Clark Terry, Vassar Clements, Toots Thielemans, Ernie Watts, Elvin Bishop, Maria Muldaur, Jackie Ryan, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others.

    She toured the world for ten years with the late Charles Brown, performing at major jazz festivals and concerts and on radio and television broadcasts worldwide. Ruth continues to spend considerable time abroad. She records and tours internationally with Maria Muldaur, Denise Jannah, Dmitri Matheny, and European pianist/composer Amina Figarova.

    Ruth believes in teaching and in bringing music to the public schools. She has been on the faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for five years and has had a very successful "Ruth Davies Blues Night" at the Stanford Jazz Festival. The San Francisco Symphony’s "Adventures in Music" program and the "Just Say Jazz" project deliver music education to the classroom. By any conservative estimate, Ruth has presented music programs to over four hundred school groups. That's a serious commitment.

    "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent," said Victor Hugo. Perhaps that is the key to Ruth's musical life.

    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Charles Brown These Blues These Blues (Verve)
    # 2 Amina Figarova Live at the Pinehill II Quiet unreleased as of broadcast
    # 3 Elis Regina Essa Mulher Cai Dentro (Get Into It) (Wea)
    # 4 Ray Brown Summer Wind (Live at the Loa) The Real Blues (Concord)
    # 5 Dori Caymmi Kicking Cans Brazil (Qwest)
    # 6 Sergei Prokofiev Zubin Mehta with the New York Philharmonic Montagus and Capulets from "Romeo and Juliet" (Sony Essential Classics)
    # 7 John Scofield with Joe Lovano, Charlie Haden and Jack Dejohnette Time on My Hands Since You Asked (Blue Note)
    # 8 Bill Evans with Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones Everybody Digs Bill Evans Oleo (OJC)
    Book Something in multiple foreign languages, or a book on astronomy
    Luxury Item A ham radio, or snorkelling gear, or a telescope, or a supply of wine
    Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
    Alt 1 João Bosco Odilê Odilá Coisa Feita (Verve)
    Castaways by date
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan