This will be Greg Ruby’s first visit with us, but he has long been on the US Django scene…or should I say, “scenes.” Scene 1 was as a roving street performer, serving up Hot Jazz with an ample side of Django. That long ramble landed him in Scene 2 which unfolds in Seattle, where our hero plays rhythm for one of the Pacific Northwest’s best-known and loved GJ ensembles, Pearl Django. He appeared on three of the band’s recordings and produced the Pearl Django Play-Along Songbook, published through Djangobooks.com. Back in that day Greg was also a founding member of Hot Club Sandwich. Here’s their “Stompin’ at KAOS”:
Scene 3 plays out these days on many stages in a wide variety of settings, all of which you can find out about on Greg’s own website. The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group dedicated to all-original compositions; and the Bric-a-brac Trio, playing Valse musette and European café jazz. In 2016, he began a project call “Syncopated Classic” which unearthed the lost compositions from 1924 by the eminent Seattle jazz icon Frank D. Waldron. Another of Greg’s bands, The Rhythm Runners, recorded some of those compositions and was named Northwest Jazz Recording of the Year (2017) by Earshot Jazz Magazine.
Last but not least, you have the Greg Ruby 6, which performs the compositions and arrangements of Argentine swing guitar legend Oscar Alemán. This last project reflects Greg’s serious study of Oscar Alemán over many years, an interest which has recently come to fruition as The Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book Vol. 1 . To extend our “scene” theme: expat Alemán was for a time part of the pre-war Paris jazz scene, and though he and Django never recorded together, they were friends who played together many times. So Greg will be on the scene with us to share not only what he knows about Django, but to introduce us to Alemán as well.