New York based “Greg Ruby lives and breathes jazz guitar” states the Fretboard Journal. From acoustic swing to jazz manouche to surf music, Ruby inhabits many musical forms and brings his compositional voice to each of them.
Born in Toronto, Ruby’s early years were spent near Pittsburgh before moving to the West Coast in the late 1990’s. On the forefront of the Django Reinhardt renaissance, he co-founded the seminal group Hot Club Sandwich and later joined Seattle’s Pearl Django. His rock-solid rhythm guitar work propelled the group through multiple recordings and extensive touring – including their debut at the Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-seine, France. With appearances at the burgeoning west coast Django festivals, Ruby accompanied jazz guitar greats Howard Alden, Patrick Saussois, Frank Vignola, Gonzalo Bergara and John Jorgensen. By 2010, Ruby stepped out on his own and released Look Both Ways, an album of all original compositions which Dan Hicks (of the Hot Licks) declared “is a soundtrack in search of a movie.” The album reached #1 on the Roots Music Review radio chart. Beginning in 2015, Ruby’s attention turned to the roots of jazz in the Pacific Northwest with Syncopated Classic – a project which unearthed, restored and recorded the lost compositions of 1920’s Seattle jazz pioneer Frank D. Waldron. The resulting record was awarded Earshot Jazz Magazine’s “Northwest Jazz recording of the year.” His most recent album, Corner Café, is co-written with accordionist Steve Rice and evokes the mid-century Parisian swing bands.
Greg Ruby is the director of Guitar Week for the Swannanoa Gathering and has taught extensively including Django in June, DjangoFest, NW and the Seattle Jazz Night School. He authored the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1 (2005), Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’s Syncopated Classic (2018), the Oscar Alemán Play-Along Songbook Vol. 1 (2019) and is a contributing author for Acoustic Guitar magazine.
In November 2019, Greg moved to New York City – just months before it shuttered due to COVID-19. At the onset of the pandemic, he took the A Train south to Rockaway Beach, NY, where he now lives, surfs, and continues to live a creative life composing, recording and teaching online guitar lessons.