History

Rick Lussie Music Exploration Day is a Ruby Van Meter celebration centered around a variety of musical experiences. This event began in 2004 as a memorial tribute to Mr. Rick Lussie. Rick was a long-time educator in the Des Moines Public School system, with a strong connection to Ruby Van Meter School and special education. He was instrumental in the "Blues in the Schools" program, which taught young children to play instruments. With this special event we honor Rick Lussie.

Rick Lussie grew up in Chicago in the 1960's. He developed his Blues guitar playing from listening to and watching first-hand masters such as: Muddy Waters, Freddie King, but especially "Magic Sam" Maghett. Rick was well known at Blues on Grand, and his hosting Friday work-release parties. These get-togethers were celebrations of the Blues with friends and fans. Chicago Rick would create from the stage and greet everyone with his remarkable smile.

Rick Lussie was a founding member of the Central Iowa Blues Society and was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 1999.

"Rick is one of those people who lived his life the same way he played the blues, with all his heart and soul." (Former Vice President of Central Iowa Blues Society)

To see Chicago Rick's story as written in his own words from the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, click here.