James (Jimmy) Ruccolo was born at St Francis Hospital on Miami Beach, Florida on August 9, 1958 to Louis Martin and Marie Ruccolo. James has two older siblings, Mike and Louis jr.(Marty) Ruccolo. James attended Oak Grove elementary school, Thomas Jefferson Junior High School and North Miami High Cchool, as well as N.M.B. high school, and graduated 1976. He attended Miami Dade Community College, where he was mentored by the child prodigy Vincent Bredice, who also taught world renown jazz guitarist Joe Diorio. He also minored in acting, and would have a lucrative little career doing national commercials, for Stroh’s beer, and a few movie roles (Band Of the Hand) and on the 80’s hit television series, Miami Vice.
Up to that point, Jimmy was a student of guitar at the age of 8 yrs old, after given the choice by his Grandfather (mom ‘s dad who he adored and adored him) to be a Boy scout or learning guitar. He chose, guitar and started a love of music that has only grown for decades that followed. Soon after, his siblings Mike and Marty started a family band with Mike on bass, and Marty on drums. A few years later, on the sidewalk, in front of his brother and parents Italian Restaurant (Marty was also a very accomplished chef and restaurant owner), he met his best friend and music soul mate George Mazzola. The two, would be two primary songs writers for their band called “Hotashe” and would play often at beach parties, infamous block parties and even play for crowds of friends at their family restaurant, which was closed on Mondays, but would be converted into a Rock n” Roll concert venue, with over a hundred inside and up to 200 people outside.
James went on to become a full time local working musician, working at most of the music venues at the time that supported “live” music. He worked in at the famous Newport 7 Seas Lounge, with a Broadway style show with full costumes, acting skits and performed music from 30’s & 40’s, a 50’s and 60’s show that had a Beatles tribute, the show ‘s name Generations 3. The shows were inspired by a Kenny Martel concept, who was very successful with similar shows at Beethoven’s & the Brickyard in Ft. Lauderdale. He worked one house gig in Fort Lauderdale, with friends John Platero and Elliott Varon at Mr. Laffs for over 7 years.
Around 1985, Jimmy got a call from a new jingle house that had just opened in Hollywood. The company “Music Works” was owned and operated by a married couple, John Martyn & Linda Thronberg, who just graduated from Berkley school of music. (John, being in music composition and arranging, Linda in music business). They called and needed a guitar part on a jingle for a tuxedo store. The pay: a new used tuxedo. That session was the beginning of what would become a 30 something year relationship that produced thousands of jingles and music production jobs.
Jimi, currently has set up a South Florida chapter for the non-profit organization, Guitars Not Guns, where he and other guitar players teach high risk children how to play guitar and the benefits of learning music.