Welcome to the web home of
the Ruby Reds Band.

Rocky Ball (banjo) • L.A. Tuten (bass) • Marty Martin (trumpet)

The Ruby Reds Band may be the longest tenured jazz band in Georgia. The band was formed in early 1966 to perform nightly at a rowdy beer hall and banjo sing-along parlor called Ruby Reds Warehouse, at 57 Ellis Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and has been playing throughout the Southeast ever since.

Over our 50+ year history we've played for nearly every major corporate entity in the state! Then there's the thousands of private parties, land auctions, professional sports events, conventions of every kind, store openings, concerts, topping-off parties and ribbon cuttings, ice-cream socials, weddings, divorces, jazz funerals, country clubs, wake-up breakfasts and all-night street dances... we can't even begin to count the parades...

All that longevity must count for something and we think it says lots about how much fun you can have listening to great music played by good musicians... our clients, who keep coming back year after year, apparently agree.

The Ruby Reds Band is available for any imaginable occasion or event with up to 10 pieces but most folks hire us as a trio, quartet or quintet. CONTACT us for great ideas for entertaining your next special group of friends, family, clients, customers or guests. Our PRICES & AVAILABILITY page will help make the details clear and you can even BOOK the BAND online or begin the process by whatever means makes you most comfortable.

There are pages where you can listen to sound samples, see lists of our CLIENTS, past and present, and read what some of them have to say about the Ruby Red's entertainment experience.

Review our HISTORY PAGE to learn how the Ruby Reds Band began and how it came to be in its present form.



Meet the Musicians


Marty Martin
TRUMPET

Born in Germany and raised in Atlanta, Marty Martin brings musical and comedic horsepower to each Ruby Reds event. A graduate of local Atlanta's Redan High School, Marty went on to graduate from the Berklee School of Music in Boston. During those years Marty worked in various amusement park musical shows including summers at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Elitch Gardens in Denver and Kennywood and Idlewild Parks in Pittsburgh. Somewhere in there he squeezed in tours with The Affordable Floors, George Gee's Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra and the Sterling Brothers Circus.

In 1991, Marty moved back to Atlanta to work at the newly revived Ruby Reds
Warehouse in the newly revived Underground Atlanta. In addition to playing with the Ruby Red's Band, Marty got involved in the operations of the bar and restaurant and gained considerable experience as a valued and trusted member of the Ruby Red's management team.

In 1992 Marty, Rocky Ball, and Hal Johnson opened Fanny Moon's Beer Hall in
Underground and formed their own house band, "The Fanny Moon's Big Butt Band." Marty forever guided the course of the Big Butt Band when he hefted an unused toilet onto the bar one night and made that his seat. The toilet became so recognized as a trademark of the band that Marty carried one to every Big Butt Band gig for years!

After the 3 partners closed Fanny Moon's in 1996, Marty took over a family business, Fred Martin Welding Co., in Atlanta. He continues to play extensively around town with Les Still's Still Swingining Big Band, the Brad Large Band and the Ruby Red's Band. His distinctive vocal and trumpet techniques are impressive to see and awesome to hear.


L.A. Tuten
BASS

L.A. Tuten hails from Atlanta, Georgia (one of the few natives left!). 'L.A.' (that's Laurence Arthur to those in the know) started out playing in Rock N' Roll bands as an electric bassist. After high school he opted to study trombone at Georgia State University... then got the itch to play jazz bass and headed for the Berklee School of Music in Boston.


After a stint in Beantown, L.A. headed back to Atlanta for lots of local gigging with Rock N' Roll and Jazz and Blues bands. He served the well-known Seed & Feed Marching Abominable Band as Conductor and Arranger (and trombonist) between 1980 and 1988. During this period he spent a year playing electric bass with the late, great "Thumbs" Carlille... world-reknowned Nashville guitarist.

L.A. found strange and unsteady work with Atlanta legend Colonel Bruce Hampton during a four-year stint between 1986 and 1990 where he played electric bass with Hampton's various groups, including Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Arkansas Travellers, and the Stained Souls, featuring Alligator recording artist Tinsley Ellis. From there he became bassist for EM/World recording artist Elise Witt, appearing on two albums: "Mezzanine" (1993); and "Open The Window" (1997).

It was around 1990 when L.A. took up the tuba, and L.A. hasn't been the same since (neither has the tuba). L.A. came aboard in 1991 as the tuba player in the Ruby Red's revival band in Underground Atlanta where he worked nightly with Rocky Ball and Marty Martin. Soon, local clarinetist Don Erdman, while forming his Hotlanta Jazz Band, hired L.A. for the tuba chair. L.A. immediately began national and world tours as well as recording for Don and found himself on 2 recordings: "Live in Spain" (1992); and "Happy Feet" (1994). L.A.’s concert tours with Hotlanta took him to France, Spain, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Singapore, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

In 1997, L.A. moved briefly to Europe, giving up his tuba chair to fellow tubist, Hal Johnson. By 1998, however, L.A. was firmly BACK in Atlanta and gigging all over town on both bass and tuba. In this millennium, L.A.’s musical focus has been on the upright bass and the Ruby Reds Band, while continuing an active free lance calendar. He devised a portable method of recording the Ruby Reds trio in a live setting and mixed and produced their recording "Ruby Reds LIVE at Watershed" (2015)


Rocky Ball
Banjo

Rocky Ball is the banjo player of the current Ruby Reds Band. Rocky was born and reared in Thunderbolt, a small shrimping village on the Georgia coast near Savannah. As a child he studied piano and played in church, eventually playing music in restaurants and clubs along Savannah's famed River Street to help pay his way through art school.

Rocky attended Georgia Southern University and Georgia State University where he studied Commercial Art. In 1974 he helped to found the Raz'Mataz Jazz Band at Six Flags Over Georgia. Raz'Mataz began working throughout the Southeast playing Dixieland Jazz. In 1976 Rocky switched from the piano to the banjo and soon landed a gig with the Ruby Reds Band in Underground Atlanta, one of 5 banjo players that played regularly with this group.


In 1978 Raz'Mataz was summoned to perform at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and eventually the band members formed a partnership to write, produce and perform a variety of live entertainment in several amusement parks around the country including Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado.

In 1992, after 14 years as Kennywood's Director of Entertainment, Rocky partnered with fellow musicians Marty Martin and Hal Johnson to form their own nightclub, Fanny Moon's Beer Hall, in Underground Atlanta. They formed the Big Butt Band to serve as the house band for the club. After 4 years as club owners, the Big Butt Band closed Fanny Moon's and sought other interests in addition to continuing to perform individually and as the Fanny Moon's Big Butt Band.
 
Rocky launched a freelance graphic design business, ArtWorks Graphics, finally putting his art school experience to use. He can regularly be found playing with several Dixieland bands in the Atlanta area including George Carere's Riverboat Drifters, the Dixieland Stompers, Don Erdman's Hotlanta Jazz Band, Lee King's
Chick-fil-A® Moo Cow Band and the Ruby Reds Band. Rocky also plays solo banjo at events throughout the Southeast.



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