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Joe Ruggiero

Few musicians can claim a stronger blues, jazz and R&B legacy than pianist and vocalist Joe Ruggiero. Joe's musical history spans several decades of world-wide performances with some of the most widely recognized names in blues and R&B music, many of whom have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joe has shared the stage with the likes of The Coasters, Bo Diddley, Percy Sledge and  Lloyd Prima, as well as countless lesser known, but highly talented artists. 


Joe honed his skills on the keyboard as a teen in Niagara Falls, NY, covering blues, R&B and Rockabilly, where he was influenced by the likes of Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Link Wray. By the sixties he was leading his own band and playing throughout the Niagara Falls area, including stints at the legendary Ontario House, home to touring jazz acts such as Stanley Turrentine and Joe Sample.  


In the early 1970’s Joe moved to New York City and plied his craft at such notable venues as Max’s Kansas City and The Peppermint Lounge, as well as touring the area. It was during a solo set in Buffalo, NY that The Coasters came after a performance, saw Joe and immediately offered him a gig. What followed was several years touring the country, playing at R&B reviews that featured acts such as Little Richard and The Drifters. 


In 1978 Joe was recruited by Dallas Rock legend Floyd Dakil, who had been playing guitar for Lloyd Prima, to help form the Floyd Dakil Band. Joe toured with the band until Floyd returned to Dallas later that year. Joe followed him to Dallas and began another career in Big D. 


By the early 1980’s Joe had established himself as both a solo performer and a bar owner, so much so that Buddy Magazine recognized him with a Texas Tornado award in 1984 as a keyboardist. For the rest of the decade, and into the early 90’s Joe remained active in the nightclub scene in Dallas, running El Gallito Mexican Cafe, Zanzibar and The Bubble Room, until retiring (temporarily) in 1993 to spend time with his family. 


Joe returned to the music scene in 2007 and still performs around the Dallas area today.

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