The Bands

The Bands

Does BRJ take on a lot projects for one guy? Well, he just can’t help it. Here’s an overview of his bands, from solo to 7-piece and most configurations in between. Check out Good’n‘Rude for info about ‘the Coupes’, Jake’s Rockabilly and Retro Punk outfits.

BRJ & the Jump City Diplomats in France

BRJ & The Jump City Diplomats

This fabulous 7-piece band, including Jake and sax player, Alison Young, plus 5 talented musicians from France: Gilles Berthenet, Jean-Baptiste Gaudray, Franck Enouf, Bertrand Couloume and Loic Seron. The Diplomats were a smash during their 2011 tour of France, and again in France and Switzerland in 2012. More to come!

To book Jake in Europe, contact: 06 85 58 70 14

BRJ & the Jump City Crusaders in Canada


The Crusaders are the Canadian counterpart to the French band. Jake missed having the trombone sound up on stage with the gang. That’s why there’s now a 7 piece Big Rude Jake band on each side of the Atlantic. Some of the regular lineup is: Alison Young, Paul Metcalfe, Kevin Barrett, Eric St. Laurent, James Stager, Alexis Baro, John Pittman, Glenn Anderson, Jack Zorawski, Wes Neal.

The Killer Duet

While he’s best known for his big band, the BRJ Killer Duet features Jake with another talented player sitting in, playing smoking renditions of original songs in intimate settings.

As The Killer Two, Jake partners with such talented side players as saxophonists Alison Young, Pat Carey (Downchild Blues Band), Richard Underhill (Shuffle Demons) and Paul Metcalfe (Heavyweights), and trumpet player and former Big Rude Jake ‘Gentleman Player’, Michael Louis Johnson (Lemon Bucket Orchestra), pictured here:

Jake and Michael

Jake and Alison Young have enjoyed repeated tours in France and Canada. The Killer Duet is in the process of planning their next caper on the road.
You can find some great footage: BRJ on YouTube


BRJ with vintage Gibson

Solo acoustic guitar in the tradition of ragtime finger picking heroes like Leon Redbone and Jake’s teacher and mentor, Mose Scarlett.

He presents his original songs in this bare bones context at lots of House Concerts, folk clubs, opening for his other bands, and making special appearances at private parties and social events.

And of course, BRJ plays classics regularly for seniors in long term care facilities. He’s done it for a long time now. It’s important, satisfying work. Check out Aquavitae for more about that.

Quartet/The Monk Junkies

The Big Rude 4 - BR4

Jake’s Quartet has two faces. It features Jake on acoustic guitar, plus a sax, bass and drums. This band is on the road a lot as it’s a great way to dig the Big Rude sound with a smoky, more intimate feel.

A bit about Jake’s latest pet project, which he’s been cooking up for a while but only really launched in 2013: In the quartet’s other persona as The Monk Junkies, a very specific atmosphere is created: that is, a 1950’s New York City beatnik hangout or coffee bar. The early beat poets were crazy about Bop. They worshipped Bird, Dizzy, and of course, Thelonious Monk.

These performances are not Bee-Bop, but they create a cool laid-back “beatnik” feel. With a few “fun” Big Rude Jake songs in the set, for the most part, the repertoire is the lyrically dense material that is often difficult to perform for a bar audience.
“I do NOT want to compete with tinkling glasses, guys on the make and loud women in tube tops. I want to create a listening space where an “invitation only” audience of friends and cool cats will take in the show as if it were theatre: no chatting, no schmoozing, just digging the tunes. There will be plenty of time between sets to fraternize.”

See discography for more streaming music.