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Ruckus is a shapeshifting, collaborative baroque ensemble with a visceral and playful approach to early music. Described as “the world’s only period-instrument rock band” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Ruckus’ core is a continuo group, the baroque equivalent of a jazz rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon and bass. The NYC-based ensemble aims to fuse the early-music movement’s questing, creative spirit with the grit, groove and jangle of American roots music, creating a unique sound of “rough-edged intensity” (New Yorker) that’s “achingly delicate one moment, incisive and punchy the next” (New York Times). The group’s members are among the most creative and virtuosic performers in North American early music. 


Ruckus’ debut album, Fly the Coop, a collaboration with flutist Emi Ferguson, was Billboard’s #2 Classical album upon its release. Performances of Fly the Coop have been described as “a fizzing, daring display of personality and imagination” (New York Times). The Boston Musical Intelligencer describes the group as taking continuo playing to “not simply a new level, but a revelatory new dimension of dynamism altogether… an eruption of pure, pulsing hoedown joy.”


Ruckus is the “house band” for Hudson Hall’s baroque opera productions, directed by R.B. Schlather. The New York Times reviewed the 2023 production of Handel’s Rodelinda, praising Ruckus’ unconducted playing as “mercurial, almost improvisatory spirit that responded to the drama in real time.” The ensemble made its Ojai Festival debut in 2022, performing a wide range of music: from Bach, to the improvisational scores of Roscoe Mitchell and George Lewis, to a recital featuring Anthony Roth Costanzo, and an original opera by bassist Doug Balliett. Recent highlights include debuts at the Shriver Concert Hall Series in Baltimore, Boston’s Celebrity Series, the Caramoor Festival, and NYC’s Town Hall.


Upcoming highlights include the world premiere of The Metropolis Trilogy by pioneering artist and NEA Jazz Master Roscoe Mitchell alongside Emi Ferguson and the Immanuel Wilkins Quartet, presented by DACAMERA and produced by The Metropolis Ensemble. In 2024 Ruckus and violinist Keir GoGwilt will premiere The Edinburgh Rollick, bringing to life tunes from the Gow Collections of Strathspey Reels, Books 1 and 2 (1784, 1788).

Ruckus is represented by Alliance Artist Management.

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