Rufus "Speedy" Jones

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Rufus "Speedy" Jones
Born (1936-05-27)May 27, 1936
Died April 25, 1990(1990-04-25) (aged 53)
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums
Years active 1950s–1990
Associated acts Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, Lionel Hampton, Henry "Red" Allen, James Brown

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

Starting out on trumpet, Rufus switched to drums at the age of 13. He got an early start in 1954 with Lionel Hampton before being drafted. While stationed at Fort Jackson, Rufus played in a quintet every Saturday night at the black United Service Organization clubhouse in Columbia. He later played with Henry "Red" Allen, and Maynard Ferguson's Orchestra (1959–1963). He led his own quintet during 1963-1964 (producing a Cameo LP, his only album as a leader). Jones gained fame for his flamboyant work 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 notably also appeared with James Brown.[citation needed]

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


Rufus Jones

With Count Basie

With Duke Ellington

With Maynard Ferguson

With Al Grey

With Woody Herman

With Johnny Hodges


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