Rufus "Speedy" Jones

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Rufus "Speedy" Jones
Born(1936-05-27)May 27, 1936
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
DiedApril 25, 1990(1990-04-25) (aged 53)
Years active1950s–1990

Rufus "Speedy" Jones (May 27, 1936 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz drummer from Charleston, South Carolina.

Starting out on trumpet, Jones switched to drums at the age of 13. He worked with Lionel Hampton in 1954 before being drafted. While stationed at Fort Jackson, Jones played in a quintet every Saturday night at the black United Service Organization clubhouse in Columbia. He later played with Red Allen and Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra (1959–1963). He led a quintet from 1963 to 1964, producing for Cameo Records his only album as a leader. Jones worked with Count Basie and Woody Herman in the mid-1960s and backed that up with Duke Ellington in the latter half of the decade. He also appeared with James Brown.[citation needed]

Rufus' son, Lebrew, was sentenced in 1989 to 22 years to life for the murder of Michaelanne Hall, a prostitute in New York City. He was released on parole on November 19, 2009 after significant doubts were raised about his guilt.[1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Count Basie

  • Big Band Scene '65 (Roulette, 1965)
  • Arthur Prysock/Count Basie (Verve, 1966)
  • Basie's Beat (Verve, 1967)

With Duke Ellington

With Maynard Ferguson

With others


  1. ^ Pertel, John. "Waiting 22 years for this moment". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 4 May 2011.