Greg Ruby charted a course years ago into the world of gypsy Django Reinhardt’s musing, made it his own and has assembled a great musical force to assist with his collection of original tunes. —Christopher Anderson, Victory Review
HOT CLUB JAZZ
The Greg Ruby Quartet plays in the spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Quintet du Hot Club de France. Formed in 2010 to record an album of all original compositions by Greg Ruby, the ensemble has performed at venues including the DjangoFest NW, the Western North Carolina Jazz Society, and the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.
Seattle-based guitarist and composer Greg Ruby is a distinctive voice specializing in a range of jazz traditions, playing Hot Club, prohibition-era, New Orleans-style and European café jazz. Described as “truly hot jazz” by Vintage Guitar Magazine, his CD, Look Both Ways, celebrating the 100th birthday of guitarist Django Reinhardt and featuring 12 original compositions, reached #1 on the Roots Music Review jazz chart. Greg leads The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group; collaborates with New York and New Orleans musicians on The Rhythm Runners, a prohibition-era jazz band; plays European cafe jazz with Bric-a-brac Musette Trio; and is a member of The Post Alley Ramblers, an old school New Orleans-style jazz quartet. A former member of Pearl Django, Greg toured throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and appeared at the prestigious Django Reinhardt Festival in France. As founding member of Hot Club Sandwich, Greg can be heard on all the band’s recordings and produced their 2010 release, And If Only, featuring legendary vocalist Dan Hicks. Greg’s compositions have been heard on television and documentaries including NBC’s Parks and Recreation. He’s published the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1 through Djangobooks.com and is completing a play-along CD/book on the swing guitar mastery of Oscar Aleman.
Julian Smedley, a violinist who performs gypsy jazz, swing, klezmer and traditional fiddle styles is also an accomplished singer, arranger and recording engineer. He’s performed on BBC television & radio in his native England, toured Europe with Decca recording group ‘The Bowles Brothers Band’ and in the US has shared the stage with artists such as Gil Evans, Chico Freeman, Paul Horn, Anthony Braxton, Ralph Towner, Gary Peacock, Art Lande and Dan Hicks. Recent arrangements include an orchestration of Klezmer tunes for the San Francisco Symphony. Recording projects in 2011 included CD’s for gypsy jazz guitarist, Jimmy Grant and singer/songwriter Cyd Smith for her recent release ‘Wide Open Night’. This summer he’ll be on staff at several music camps as well as playing duo gigs with his wife of 25 years, singer/guitarist Alison Odell.
Neil Andersson started playing guitar in high school and in 1964 joined the famous Northwest rock group the Wailers. As a guitarist, he has done session work and played in many groups – recording for United Artists, Janus Records, Etiquette Records, and Modern Hot Records. He is a member of the Northwest Music Hall of Fame. In 1993 he began a collaboration with Dudley Hill that led to the formation of the jazz group Pearl Django; Pearl Django subsequently recorded 10 CDs and maintains its own record label, Modern Hot Records. Neil also released a solo disc, C’est si bon, as well as two collaborations with fellow guitarist Peter Pendras: Malibu Manouche and As the Crow Flies. In 2010 Neil retired from Pearl Django to focus on art and other musical endeavors.
In his hometown of Port Angeles, WA, Spencer Hoveskeland began playing the bass at the age of ten. He later attended Western Washington University, where he had the unique opportunity to study with former member of the Bill Evan’s Trio, Chuck Isreals. He performs, tours and records with his wife, Tracy in the Bottom Line Duo, a dynamic cello and bass chamber group. They have toured around the world and performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Spencer has released a CD of original Jazz compositions, entitled Harbinger.