with Adrian Ruiz piano, video by Jay Nicholls.
The duet performance here is from March 2018 at Cafe Hope Chicago.


Stompin' at the Savoy

Stompin' at the Savoy composed by Edgar Sampson Benny Goodman  & Chick Webb

with Adrian Ruiz piano, video by Jay Nicholls.

The duet performance here is from March 2018 at Cafe Hope Chicago.

A Shortstop in Cleveland live at Merriman's Playhouse

A Shortstop in Cleveland is an original song title in honor of baseball great Lou Boudreau and a family relative of trumpet player Markus Rutz.  It features Markus and also Jarrard Harris, sax; Bill Cessna, piano; Chris Nolte, bass and Isaiah Spencer, drums! 

Merriman's Playhouse in South Bend, Indiana is the beautiful venue.

The Musicianer

The Musicianer is bassist Richard Davis. As told to us buy Richard, it was an archaic name his father used to describe his profession. In telling, the life story expressed his appreciation for his parent. The composition itself is an original which follows a familiar AABA form though departs from the usual repetition in the A sections because of the harmony which is unique to the each A for the same melody.


Bronzeville is a Southside neighborhood of Chicago and was historically a jazz and blues enclave for the city. It was there that world renowned bassist Richard Davis began his development in DuSable High School with famed band instructor Captain Walter Dyett. Not much time later, the bossa nova style found its way into American jazz and is the style selected for this composition.  This performance is at a place called the Whistler in a neighborhood of Chicago called Logan Square.

I’ll Remember November

This ballad is a piece I wrote with a time, place and feeling in mind. Years later my youngest sister wrote lyrics to it in honor of my Grandmother and Grandfather. This performance was the debut of the vocals.

The instrumental version was recorded in a studio and was featured here:

The Neutral Ground

The name for this tune was inspired by these beautiful, grassy median areas on New Orleans streets that Markus used to view from a bus seat on the Elysian Fields line of the Crescent City as he rode from his Lakefront apartment to the French Quarter.

The idea for the tune was to write music that reminded listeners of a songbook type standard that might have been written in earlier days of jazz. The chord changes are regular which open up the form as an improvisational vehicle to "stretch out".

The musicians are Chris Madsen - saxophone, Dennis Luxion - piano, Isaiah Spencer - drums, John Sutton - bass and Markus Rutz - trumpet. Strobe Recording in Chicago with audio by Karson Glass and video by Jack McClain.