Jazz trumpeter and vocalist Kermit Ruffins was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 19, 1964. Influenced by Louis Jordan and Louis Armstrong, Kermit Ruffins is best known as the co-founder of the Rebirth Brass Band. He began playing trumpet in the eighth grade, but had to include classical music into his repertoire at the insistence of the band teacher. While attending high school, he co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band, who combined traditional New Orleans brass band music with jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop. The group released their first album, Here to Stay!, in 1984 to critical acclaim. The band followed that up with a series of albums including Feel Like Funkin’ It Up (1989), Do Whatcha Wanna (1991) and Kickin’ It Live: Mardi Gras, New Orleans 1990. In 1992, Kermit Ruffins founded the Barbecue Swingers, a more traditional jazz quintet. During his career, he has performed at hundreds of funerals as well as appearing as himself in Treme, a series on HBO. He released his debut solo album, World on a String, in 1993. While working on many various projects, Kermit Ruffins has managed to maintain a solo career that includes albums such as Hold On Tight (1996), Swing This (1999), Big Easy (2002), Livin’ a Treme Life (2009), Happy Talk (2010), and A Beautiful World (2017).