David Andrew Ruffels, M.M.,B.A.

BRIEF BIO: 4/23 David Ruffels is a professional jazz bassist and has been living, working and performing in New York City and it’s extended regions for the past 30 years... David has been fortunate to have performed with Lionel Hampton, Marion McPartland, JoAnne Brackeen, Harold Mabern, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker, Jon Faddis, Joe Beck, Vic Juris, Adam Nussbaum and many other jazz greats. For twenty five years David taught bass and jazz improvisation and coached small group ensembles at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT.


FULL BIO: April 2023



2000-2002 State University of New York,Purchase,New York Master of Music (4.03 gpa)

1990-1992 William Paterson University,Wayne,New Jersey Bachelor of Music


2006 - 2010 State University of New York, Purchase, New York: Adjunct Instructor - Acoustic/Electric Bass/Jazz Improvisation/Ensemble Coach/Styles & Analysis

1998-2022 Western Connecticut State University,Danbury,Connecticut: Adjunct Instructor-Acoustic/Electric Bass,improvisation,small group ensemble coach

2008 SUNY PURCHASE Summer Jazz Institute: Clinician/Instructor/Performer

2010 (since 2000) Greater Danbury Youth Association, Danbury,Connectictut: Improvisation Clinician

2007-2017 Norwalk High School, Norwalk, Connecticut: Adjudicator for annual High School Jazz Band competition

2006 Litchfield Jazz Festival Summer Jazz Camp, Litchfield, Connecticut: Performances, Master Classes, Private instruction & small group combo coach

2002-2004 College of St.Rose,Albany,New York: Adjunct Instructor-Acoustic/Electric Bass

1998-2001 University of Bridgeport,Bridgeport Connecticut: Adjunct Instructor-Acoustic/Electric Bass

1996-1997 William Paterson University,Wayne New Jersey Bassist for small group ensembles

2000 Lake Placid Institute,Summer Jazz Workshop,Lake Placid,New York Bassist for small group combos

1995 Newark Performing Arts Center,Newark, New Jersey Jazz for Teens with Rufus Reid Bassist for small group combos

1995-1996 New Jersey Public Schools Assisted drummer Yoron Israel in performance clinics 1994-PRESENT Manhattan/Astoria, New York City private teaching studio



Continuing the adventures of working professionally and living in New York City for over 25 years; from navigating the waters of academic bureaucracies, to the streets of Manhattan, to the changes of Giant Steps; developing progressive, long term, sustainable concepts as a bassist, musician, entrepreneur and human being are the primary goals I strive to explore and instill within my teaching, as well as my own personal evolution. I enjoy teaching the most, when my students look forward to coming to their lessons. I'm eager to challenge and support their efforts to achieve a professional level of musicianship as well as share my musical inspirations and love of the bass tradition and excitement for it's future...


MUSICAL BACKGROUND: David holds a Master of Music Degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, New York, as well as a Bachelors in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. While at William Paterson, David studied bass and improvisation with Rufus Reid and Dr. Todd Coolman. He continued his acoustic bass studies with Dr. Coolman and Hal Galper, while attending S.U.N.Y. Purchase, New York.,as a Master of Music degree candidate in the spring of 2002.


David has also studied jazz bass with:


Steve LaSpina 

Ron McLure 

Harvie S. 

John Goldsby 

Kermit Driscoll 

Jeff Fuller 

Dave Santoro

Larry Grenadier

John Patitucci


David has attended masterclasses taught by Ron Carter, Drew Gress, Christian McBride and Mr. Patitucci. 


David’s classical bass training has included studies with Robert Black and Linda McKnight.


Dave began his jazz studies at the University of Connectictut with Ellen Rowe, and had his musical beginnings at WestHill H.S. in Stamford Ct., with Fred Pasqua.


PERFORMING EXPERIENCE: Moving to Manhattan in 1995, David's freelance career as a jazz bassist in New York City has opened the doors to many exciting musical adventures! From the spring of 2003 until the spring of 2005 David collaborated and performed regularly with Israeli musicians Dekel Bor and drummer Nadav Snir as a member of the “Dekel Bor Trio”, working in New York City as well as touring throughout the East Coast. They recorded the CD: Stories and Tales, and spent time working with the grammy award winning producer Robert Sadin.

Another collaborative endeavor & recording project was the CD*: Contrast to the Madness, with the “InSpirit Quartet”, a group Dave founded in the winter 2003 with saxophonist Derrick James. The quartet also includes guitarist Scott Hesse and Drummer Ernie Colon. Contrast to the Madness is the group’s debut CD comprised of 10 original compositions written and arranged by the members of the quartet. The CD was produced by Todd Barken, artistic coordinator for “Jazz at Lincoln Center” in Manhattan, New York.


David’s performance career has included work in New York City nightclubs such as:



Arthur’s Tavern

Gishen Café

Café Creole





The Garage

The Internet Café

The Knitting Factory

The 55 Bar


The Green Room


The Blue Note 


The West Bank Cafe



No. 28




Bar 4

New York Open Center

Bar & Books

Shutter's Café


David has also performed in other New York City venues:


The Museum of Modern Art

The Brooklyn Public Library

The New York Open Center

St. Peter’s Church

Riverside Church

Central Synagogue

BRIC/Brooklyn Information & Culture studio

Flushing Town Hall

WBAI - 99.5fm


Clubs outstide of NYC:


Maureen's Jazz Cellar, Nyack,NY

South East Grill House,Brewster, NY

Marianacci"s, Port Chester, NY

Silvermine Tavern, New Canaan, CT

Ciboney, Poughkeepsie, NY

Ryles, Boston, MA;

Deer Head Inn, Delaware Water Gap, PA

The Joy of Not Cooking, Stamford, CT

J.P. Cheffield"s, Newtown, CT

Café 9, New Haven CT

SONO Seafood, Norwalk, CT




Jazz festivals and larger venues:


Newark Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J.,

“Redbank Jazz Festival” in Redbank, N.J.,

“Jazz by the Sea” jazz festival in Groton, CT


In November 2001, David worked with the Chiquita Green quintet at the Half Note jazz club in Athens, Greece.


His New York experience has also included "trench" work in the subways of Manhattan, as part of the “Music Under New York” festival, sponsored by the New York City Transit Authority...


David has performed classical music with the Wayne Chamber Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tulley Hall.


David has worked with the Broadway musicals:

“The Me Nobody Knows”

“West Side Story”


“The Music of Michael Valente”


David often substituted for bassist Ratzo Harris, in the cabaret act of Judy Kreston featuring pianist David Laam, at “Judy’s Chelsea” and “Danny’s”, both in Manhattan.


Since the fall of 1998, David has been an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut, teaching acoustic & electric jazz bass; classical bass; jazz combos; and jazz Improvisation. Since 2000 he has adjudicated for the Norwalk High School Big Band Competion. For the past four years David has been on the staff of the Greater Danbury Youth Summer Music Camp, held at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT.

Since 1995, David has also maintained a private teaching practice at his studio in Manhattan, and Astoria, Queens.



David Ruffels Quartet/Quintet; ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES


Carol Sudhalter Quintet; IT'S TIME!


AWARDS/HONORS: 2004;Downbeat Magazine:Distinguished Alumni for S.U.N.Y. Purchase 2002 

State University of New York, Purchase, New York, Master of Music Degree (4.03 g.p.a.)

Milt Hinton Memorial Service, Riverside Church, New York City: Member of All Star Bass Ensemble directed by John Clayton

Milt Hinton's 90th Birthday Celebration; Danny Kaye Playhouse,New York City:Member of All Star Bass Ensemble directed by Rufus Reid

Ray Brown's 75th Birthday Tribute; The New School, New York City: Member of All Star Bass Ensemble directed by John Clayton



Joe Henderson

JoAnne Brackeen

Michael Brecker

Joshua Redman

Lionel Hampton

Marion McPartland

Jon Faddis

Lew Soloff

Adam Nussbaum

Jeff Williams

Harold Mabern

Yoron Israel

Greg Hutchinson

Winard Harper

Joel Rosenblatt

Bobby Leonard

Ron Blake

Chris Parker

Matt Wilson

Albert "Tootsie" Bean

Lou Petto

Nàdav Snir-Zelniker

Andre Ryabov

Mark Elf

Tim Horner


Frank Wess

Kim Thompson

Stan Francis

John Neish

Clarence Penn


Ernie Colon

Adam Issadore

Brian Woodruff

Andrea Valentini


Russ Meissner

Neil Smith

Gernot Bernroider

Roland Schneider

Burt Karl

Tony Jefferson


Thiery Arpino

Scott Latsky

Gerry Fitzgerald

Scott Veenstra

Jim Royal

Jim Doyle

John Cutrone

Grecian Alexander

Tim Walsh

John Jenkins

Christian Finger

Greg Burrows

Jim Oblon

Ismail Lawal

Chris Morrison

Joe Beck

Dave Stryker

Gil Paris

Doug Munro

Lee Metcalf

Joel Newton

Scott Denett

Ron Affif

Paul Meyers

Bill Bickford

Kelly Mittleman

Vic Juris

Kate Baker

Bob Devos

Doug Proper

Mark Elf

Rick Stone

Jack Wilkins

John Stohl

Brian Babcock


Joe LoPiccolo

Cecil Gregory

Tony Lombardosi

Jeff Burr

Jeff Peretz

Amanda Monico

Terrance McManus

Scott Anderson

Scott Hesse

Dekel Bor

Rob Reich

Gene Siegal

Sebastion Noelle

Roshan Samtani

Ofare Ganore

Judy Silvano

Myra Melford


Marlena Primavera

Judy Kreston

Nicole Pasternak

Shy Peled

Jerry Malkin

Giacamo Gates

Geoff Keezer

Matt King

Rob Aries

Will Boulware

Toro Dodo

David Lahm

Allan Kaman

Bill Gerhardt

Don Friedman

Enrique Hanein

Pete Tomlinson

Amy Duncan

Anat Fort

Eri Yamamoto

Dave Downing

Dor Bar-Shalom

Ian McDonald

Kieth Saunders



Tomoko Ono

Vinnie Martucci

Sarah Jane Cion

Roberta Piket

Janice Friedman

Kevin Hays

Phil Magnalaris

Brian Charette

DD Jackson

Jim Rotundi

Dave Scott

Steve Davis

Chris Botti

Chuck McKinnon

Fred Jacobs

Bill Dowling

Mike Genovese

Jacob Varmus

Randy Sandke

Mike Davis

Jiggs Wigham

Alex Lodico

Rick Margitza

Rob Scheps

Benny Russel

Ken Gioffre

Marshall McDonald


Ian Russell

Dimitri Moderbacher

Grazia D'Giorgia

Derrick James

Donny McCaslin

Sal Giogianni

Bruce Williams

Turk Mauro

Gary Keller

Andrew Beals

Sid Simmons

Matt Hong

Nick Trautwine

Dan Faulk

Joel Frahm

Vic Baker

Jeff Newel

Ralph LaLama

Carmine Leggio

Jerry Niewood

Adam Niewood

Jerry Malcon

Joe Meo

Fred Scherbo

Ron Gozzo

Mark Turner

Tony Malaby

Bill Evans

Don Alico

Mike Leventhal

Dan Goble

Jon Blanc

Dave Smith

Ted Piltzeker

Jamie Begian

Gene Gee

Frank D'maio

Jamie Finegan

Evan Faulkner

Ellen Rowe

Gary Versace

Aimee Allen

Robert Rodriguez

Richard Padron

Lance Bryant

Phil DeGreg

Gene Gee

Conrad Herwig

Terrell Stafford

Paul Bollenbeck

Jeff Helmer

Doug Schlink

Akiko Tsuruga

Gilad Ronen

Jimmy Greene

Rogerio Boccato

Kris Allen

Peter Madsen

Mike DiRubbo

Joe Magnorelli

Louise Baranger

Kobe Hayon

Alejandro Aviles

Dre Barnes

Yoni Halevi

Yuval Tavachnick

John O'Gallagher

Eli Degibri

Adam Kolker

Loren Stillman

Clay Jenkins

Mark Furber

Billy Mintz

Dave Ambrosio

Mike Cabe

Dror Ben-Gur

G. Earl Grice Jr.

Kristjan Randalu

Alejandro Alveres

Jason Rigby

Sarah Bernstein

Angela W. Buchdahl

Mark Guiliana

Jeff Feldstein

Chuck Zeuron

Shunzo Ohno

Richie Morales

Alan Eicher

David Berkman

Tim Armacost

Shinnosuke Takahashi

Tsuyoshi Furutsu

Kenny Berger

Dan Tepfer

Rich Belkin

Roy Assaf

Stuart Isacoff

Ron Oswanski

Dave Rimelis

Eric Lewis

Fernando Himenez

Hilary Brown

Gina Cuffari

Rich Clymer

Aaron Barkon

Laura Telman

Chase Bronstein

Hafez Taghavi

Jay Azzolina

Jeff Pittson

Peppe Merolla

Tom Pollard

Bob Franceschini

Dave LaLama

Ron Vincent

Dan Nimmer

John Farnsworth

Jun Saito

John Merrill

Russ DiBona

Jun Miyake

Keiko Kurita

Ray Levier

Jerome Morris

Craig Hartley

Rich Eisentstein

Todd Isler

Bruce Arnold

Jeremy Pelt

John Dunkerly

Ben Carriel, Sr.

Andrew Rathbun

Ryan Dragon

Paul Carlon

John Yao

Yoichi Uzeki

Vitaly Golovnev

Catherine Sikora

Chris Hemmingway

Jumaane Smith

Lee Metcalf

Deborah Weisz

Kenny Wessel

Hiroshi Yamazaki

Charlie Lagond

John Bailey

Paul Mariconda

Doug Richardson

John Pondel

Doug Jordan


Tommy Taliercio

Robert Marullo

Gregg Sulzer

Bobby Harden

Ann Carpenter

Arlee Leonard

Al D’Marco

George Garzone

Scott Neumann

Roberto Pistoles

Steve Lamattina

Mike Camacho

Ethan Silverman

Mark Marino

Joe Corsello

Larry Haddad

Jim Olbrys

Josh Bruno

Larry Luger

Mark McGowin