About

In a spacious, bare-bones duet at Stone Way Cafe with Seattle bassist, Chris Symer, Ruby showed her strengths as bandleader, arranger, improviser, percussionist, and interpreter of lyrics ranging from Cole Porter to Peter Gabriel. Performing for a sold-out crowd at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, Ruby and straight ahead trio, Triofus, presented Ruby’s meaningful arrangements of tunes by composers ranging from Jerome Kern to Pat Methany. At Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill, Ruby collaborated with Allie Webb and Jenna Rubino on The Women of Tin Pan Alley, a show featuring female composers and lyricists of the early 20th century, such as Dorothy Fields, Ann Ronell, and Kay Swift. Ruby was invited to perform at The Cornish Playhouse with The Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Adam Stern. As lead soprano in The Downbeat Award-winning Santa Monica College Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Ruby performed at an invitation-only vocal jazz festival in Chicago hosted by The New York Voices, garnering 4 standing ovations.

Former percussionist for The Aaron English Band, Ahlam, and the Motherland Ensemble, Ruby’s approach to singing is deeply rooted in her rhythmic sensibility. She sought to build sophistication in this area by playing with Kofi Anang’s African Drum Ensemble. Accompanying African Dance classes under Mr. Anang’s direction served as a laboratory to further develop timing, stamina, and a better grasp of the puzzle-like relationships within poly-rhythms. Ruby has studied with Jay Clayton; Cindy Bourquin Dicken; Johnaye Kendrick; Kelly Ash; L.A. Master Chorale soloists, Janelle DeStefano and Rose Beattie; Kurt Elling; Randy Halberstadt; Tom Varner; Master West African drummers, Kofi Anang and Malik Sow; Karen Benjamin; Alan Chapman; Keith Fiddmont; Chuck Deardorf; Andreas Preponis, and Ian Brekke.

Ruby has an affinity for the classic sounds of Bop and the Cool Sessions and particularly loves John Coltrane and Clifford Brown. She appreciates the vocalists who dug into the structure of the music like Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Mel Torme, and Anita O’Day, and singers who were transported by the poetry like Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. Ruby seeks the lyricism of Chet Baker, the intimacy of Miles Davis, the hard swinging phrases of Charlie Parker, and the bare vulnerability of Nina Simone. Modern vocal heroes include Bobby McFerrin, Dianne Reeves, Gretchen Parlato, Melody Gardot, and Nancy King. Ruby is currently gaining fluency in the bebop language by transcribing horn and scat solos of great players from the era.

Whether fronting a big band, a small combo, or an orchestra, sharing a duet, supporting with backing vocals, or performing solo a Capella voice, Ruby has the versatility to serve the music on any project. She has worked with Keith Fiddmont of The Clayton Hamilton Orchestra, Tony Dumas, Ralph Penland, Zachary Matz, Gaili Schoen, Cindy Dicken, Steve Barnes, Greg Jasperse, Fletcher Sheridan, Darrin Clandennin, Chris Symer, D’Vonne Lewis, John Hansen, and Aaron English.

 

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