Hard to believe, given how long he’s been on the hot jazz scene, but Greg Ruby joined us for the first time just last year. His classes were packed and well-received, so in case you couldn’t squeeze in last year (or would like to again) we’ve invited him back. Here he is with one of his many projects, the Greg Ruby 6.
Greg began playing swing and early jazz music while leading the bohemian life of a busker 25 years ago. Realizing the tips were far superior with jazz, he stuck with it and has become a respected performer, educator and author. Described as “Seattle’s premier hot jazz guitarist” by Earshot Jazz magazine, he has performed with Pearl Django, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Andy Stein, Dan Hicks, John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden and The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra as well as leading numerous groups under his own name.
As part of Django Reinhardt renaissance of the early 2000’s, Greg formed the seminal group Hot Club Sandwich and later joined Pearl Django in 2002. His rock-solid rhythm guitar propelled the group through multiple recordings and their debut performance at the legendary Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-seine, France. In 2010, he released a record of all original compositions in the Hot Club tradition, Look Both Ways,which reached #1 on the Roots Music Review radio chart. In 2016, he was awarded arts, heritage and cultural fundingfor Syncopated Classic– a project which unearthed, restored and recorded the lost compositions by the eminent 1920’s Seattle jazz icon Frank D. Waldron. The resulting record was awarded the “Northwest Jazz recording of the year” in 2017.
Greg’s compositions have been heard on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Freakanomics Radio and the documentary When Seattle Invented the Future. As a respected music instructor, he has taught at Django in June, Millwood Blues Week, DjangoFest NW, SUNY, the Seattle Jazz Night School and is the Guitar Week Coordinator for the Swannanoa Gathering. He has published the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1, Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’s Syncopated Classic, the Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook Vol. 1 and writes for Acoustic Guitar magazine.