Bruce's reputation as a jazz musician started in his native New Zealand and catapulted him to Australia where he quickly attained fame and forture in the Aussie market. Looking for more, Bruce moved to England where he established himself solidly on the jazz scene and his career took him throughout Europe. Bruce never barged into a jam session. He would always wait to be asked and let his level of playing and kind reputation open doors. While in Cophenhagen, Bruce performed regularly with Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, and Niels Henning Orsted Pederson. The respect they had for each other lead to a bonding friendship.
Europe was fabulous to Bruce, but when he had a chance to see where jazz originated, Maynard Ferguson hired Bruce solely on reputation and brought him to the states where he also toured with Woody Herman. "New York Mary," a group formed by Bruce, was one of the first jazz fusion bands on the scene. Producing two albums on Arista, both were rated pick of the month on Billboard and Cash Box. One of Bruce's many recordings was with Anthony Braxton's "Creative Orchestra Music 1976," which received a 5 star rating in Down Beat and extensive European play. "MF Horn 4 & 5: Live at Jimmy's" with Maynard Ferguson earned legendary status.
Bruce's career has enabled him to play with too many greats to mention in every style, from Be-Bop to Avant Garde. His post-bop style earned him the #3 slot on Bari Sax in the international magazine Down Beat, which he subsequently held for 10 years.
Bruce currently holds the position of "Director of Curricular Jazz" at SUNY Fredonia.