JOHN RUTHERFORD, TROMBONE
John Rutherford is one of Detroit’s leading freelance trombonists. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan after two years of study at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. John has held teaching positions at the University of Toledo, Albion College, Henry Ford Community College, and most recently at Oakland University.
John has performed and recorded with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra. He has served as guest principal trombonist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and has performed abroad with the Jerusalem International Symphony, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Palermo, Sicily, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, and most recently at the Santo Domingo Music Festival in the Dominican Republic.
An active chamber musician, John has performed with the Detroit Chamber Winds, the Boston Chamber Ensemble, the Michigan Chamber Brass, the Spectrum Brass Quintet, and is the founding member of the Motor City Brass Quintet, whose 2009 debut CD features the premier recording of Pulitzer Prize winner John Harbison’s Christmas Vespers. He has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble (Silk Road Journeys: When Strangers Meet), for Sony Classical as part of the Silk Road Project. With the Silk Road Ensemble, John toured a large part of North America, including performances at Carnegie Hall.
On the other side of the spectrum, John performs with many of Detroit’s leading jazz ensembles and is lead trombonist with the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra. He performs on tenor trombone, bass trombone, and tuba for the pit orchestras at many theaters in Michigan and Ohio and has played in bands and orchestras for artists including Ray Charles, Jimmy Heath, Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, George Russell, Terence Blanchard, Patti Austin, Gladys Knight, Debbie Gibson, the Four Tops, the Temptations, the Fifth Dimension, and Dennis DeYoung of Styx. John is the founding member of the Motor City Horns, who recently joined Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band on their 2006-2007 “Face the Promise” North American tour. With the Motor City Horns, John has collaborated with Clarence Clemons and the Temple of Soul, The Verve Pipe, Carl Craig and Tribe, and frequently with Alexander Zonjic. With Zonjic, they have shared the stage and crafted horn arrangements for many well-known jazz artists, including Bob James and Jeff Lorber. He has recorded for radio and television commercials at studios in Detroit and Los Angeles and is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYS).