Union Cabaret and Grille
Union Cabaret and Grille – Formerly located at 125 S Kalamazoo Mall
42.291134, -85.583163 : Directions
My Piece is entitled November, and it was written in honor of the Union Cabaret and Grille which closed in November of 2020. The Union, as it was affectionately called, was a place for budding jazz musicians in the Kalamazoo area, to go and listen to the pros play as well as to gain experience on the stage and with the music.
The Union has had some amazing musicians of all genres grace its stage and will always be remembered as a place venue for live music, great food, and great fellowship. For me, the Union was a place that taught me how to be a jazz musician, and I would often learn “tunes” on the spot during jam sessions.
This piece was written to emulate the sound of “jazz standards” and the traditional jazz idiom.
Rufus Ferguson is an experienced performer, arranger, composer and teacher, who earned degrees from Western Michigan University under the mentorship of Jeremy Siskind and Matthew Fries. He has shared the stage with artists such as Dwight Adams, Bob Hurst, Rodney Whitaker, Ali Jackson, The Temptations and many more.
Rufus got his start studying classical piano at the age of five. He became a gospel church organist at a young age and later began playing jazz piano at age 13. His dedication to being equally well-versed in multiple genres of music has made him a fixture in the regional jazz, R&B and gospel music scenes.
Rufus is currently Education Manager for the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Vocal Accompanist at Kalamazoo College. He also serves as Director of Community Partnerships at the Kalamazoo Music School.