RUBY JANE: Mississippi Soul, Texas Spirit
Born on November, 1994, in Dallas, TX, Ruby Jane is one of the world's premiere junior fiddlers and a fast-rising star in country and bluegrass-Americana music. With deep familial and cultural ties throughout the South, especially Mississippi where she lived her first 12 years, she resides in Austin, TX, with her mama, when not traveling as a musician, actress, or model.
Ruby Jane exhibited a strong connection to music as early as age one and began classical… Show more violin instruction at age two. At age eight, she was introduced to the sounds of Americana music in Santa Fe, NM, leading to a complete devotion to old-time and bluegrass music. Subsequently, she began old-time fiddle lessons, which included the study of its unique bowing techniques, archaic tunings, and depth of expression. After only six fiddle lessons, she won first place in the first fiddle competition she entered, beginning a run of victories and increasing notoriety that continues today.
She was granted an apprenticeship by the Mississippi Arts Commission at age eight to apprentice with Charles T. Smith, one of the last great Mississippi old-time fiddlers. For the past three years, she has competed in dozens of prestigious music competitions and performed with many bluegrass greats, including Marty Stuart, Rhonda Vincent ("The Queen of Bluegrass"), Mike Snider, Jesse McReynolds, Jim Brock, James Monroe, Carl Jackson and many others.
In 2005, at age ten, Ruby Jane acted in her second film, contributed an original song to a film soundtrack, performed as the youngest invited fiddler in the history of the Grand Ole Opry, played at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop three times, and won the National Beginners Fiddle Championship (which ranked her first nationally under twelve). She was also a subject of artist James Patterson's state-commissioned, permanent photography exhibit at Mississippi's Jackson International Airport; her image hangs alongside Eudora Welty and Marty Stuart. Also in 2005, she won Second Place on the mandolin in the National Beginner Country Musician Competition, performed and modeled clothes for Project Alabama in New York's fall fashion week, and won a second consecutive First Place in her category at the TN Valley Fiddle Convention in Athens, AL. At the 2005 International Bluegrass Music Association convention, she was invited to perform as "Kids on Bluegrass”. IBMA invited her again in 2006 and 2007. Ruby Jane is featured in a documentary about her legendary fiddle instructor Jim Brock. She also contributed to the film's soundtrack. In October 2005, at age 10, she won First Place in her category and then won the Fiddle-Off at the Mississippi State Fair Southern Championship Fiddle Contest, establishing her as the Mississippi State Fiddle Champion of 2005 for all age groups. She was the youngest state champion in the competition's history.
In 2006 alone, media outlets and programs including the CBS Evening News, American Airlines In-Flight "Eye on America" News, Christian Science Monitor, W magazine, British Vogue, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and award-winning publications in Russia and Australia have featured stories about Ruby Jane. Selections from her eponymous first full-length album are played on bluegrass radio in the United States, Canada, and the Australian Radio Network while she continued to perform regularly around the U.S. A consummate performer, when asked what to identify a single highlight of 2006, she mentioned playing on stage with Marty Stuart at "Marty's Late Night Jam at the Ryman."
In 2007, she won a prestigious American String Teachers Association Alternative Styles Award, attending the awards ceremony in Detroit, MI. She continues touring and writing music this year while recording another cd in Nashville. In April, “Creekside”, which includes two original songs, was recorded at Sound Emporium with Steve Fishell as producer. In June, she performed at the CMA Music Fest in Nashville with country music stars, Big & Rich before a crowd of more than 60,000! ABC filmed the event and it aired on July 23, 2007 in a primetime special, “CMA Music Festival: Country Music’s Night to Rock”. On July 27, she received an extraordinary honor in music. Ruby Jane was awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin at the Mark O’Connor Strings Conference in San Diego, CA. In the September issue of MISSISSIPPI magazine, a feature story on Ruby Jane hit newsstands. And in November, Teen Strings magazine! An article and a review were highlights of the issue.
Ruby Jane made a move to Austin and is sitting in with Texas greats like Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ray Benson, Johnny Gimble, Dale Watson, Jim Stringer, and Bob Schneider, Bill Carter, and Will Sexton and 9 time Grammy winner Asleep at the Wheel. In 2007, Ruby Jane also established her own publishing company, Random Chocolate Tamale Music and recorded a 6 song EP, "Creekside" in Nashville, and played the Grand Ole Opry again! "Creekside" features two original songs, two classic fiddle tunes, a swingy jazz tune, and a Johnny Cash cover. These showcase not only her talent as a great fiddler but her deep, bluesy voice and immense maturity. Ruby Jane's talent as a multi-instrumentalist is heard on the EP as well. Produced by Steve Fishell (Grammy winner / Emmy Lou Harris cd), it foreshadows a long and exciting career steeped in the love of American music. Ruby Jane listens to all kinds of music: bluegrass, country, from jazz and rock to classical and blues, while growing in her own musical expression. She is a songwriter and plays several instruments including mandolin, harmonica, guitar, and spoons. She also is learning to play bass, banjo, and dobro.
She began 2008 as a cast member of “A Ride With Bob”, a play by Ray Benson and Anne Rapp, with the Asleep at the Wheel bandand continues to tour with the musical production! In March, she was invited to showcase in Austin at SXSW, being one of the youngest (if not THE youngest ever invited performer of this event). She just performed again with country music’s “Big and Rich” at the Texas Motor Speedway in April. Another highlight already this year is performing at the opening gala for the Long Center, a beautiful new performance hall in Austin, TX. Ruby Jane shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and the Asleep at the Wheel band for an evening of memorable music and a historical generational Texas music evening. She performed again with Big & Rich at the texas Motor Speedway in April. "Austin Monthly" June issue featured a story on Ruby Jane this year.
She performed with Willie Nelson at his picnics this year in July, recorded with Willie and is recording a new cd this fall. At 13 years old, you can find her making music around Austin (a city that she has fallen in love with - and she is giving her music to with her whole heart) with all kinds of bands (from western swing to rock to Cajun) as a fiddler or leading her own band in an original, Ruby Jane Show that is warming hearts, embracing audiences, and making music an experience for everyone. She looks forward to 2009, when she'll begin the year touring with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel as well as performing in "A Ride with Bob".
Created by Zvents