Articles by Peter Rubie

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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The Jazz Life

Some Kind Of Normal—The new, East Coast Jazz Festival

Read "Some Kind Of Normal—The new, East Coast Jazz Festival" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Todd Barkan is a Jazz Club owner, which is a bit like saying Sonny Rollins is a saxophonist. It doesn't really tell you very much unless you already know about them. But it's a start. After a year of the plague (Covid-19 in case you're in doubt), being a club owner is not unlike being a vegetarian waiter in a steak house. (Yes, they do exist. I once met one years ago at Peter Luger's, the famed New York steakery ...

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The Jazz Life

How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker

Read "How to Play a Tin Whistle Like Michael Brecker" reviewed by Peter Rubie


I was talking to a musician friend of mine the other day, asking her how her move from Brooklyn to Forrest Hills was going. She said, “I love it! I love the neighborhood and best of all, musically, I'm not running any more jam sessions at the moment, just doing gigs—and practicing! It's great." And practicing is a high for me as well. I miss it when I don't do it. Given that we are all wrestling with ...

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The Jazz Life

To Dream the Impossible Dream: the quest for a music education

Read "To Dream the Impossible Dream: the quest for a music education" reviewed by Peter Rubie


I've been thinking a lot about how jazz is taught recently. I realize now, my search for a real musical education was not a simple thing, but a series of life changing moments. My son, on the other hand, is planning to study music in college after he finishes high school. Though it would fill his grandparents with dread were they still around to see it, to Ben and his peers it is a natural choice, focused on finding the ...

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The Jazz Life

A Professional Jazz Musician? Really? What's That?

Read "A Professional Jazz Musician? Really? What's That?" reviewed by Peter Rubie


I've been around as a musician long enough to understand when a promoter or booker ghosts me. “Yeah, sure, send me an email," they say in that sincere way that sounds like someone saying, “Of course I love you" just to shut you up. It comes with the territory, and a musician has to be Zen about the whole thing. Getting work as a professional freelance artist has always been like trying to join an exclusive club you can usually ...

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The Jazz Life

Jazz and the Rules of the Knife Fight

Read "Jazz and the Rules of the Knife Fight" reviewed by Peter Rubie


There's a great scene near the beginning of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when Butch (Paul Newman) returns to the Hole in the Wall Gang and is challenged for leadership of the gang. As Butch and Harvey face off, Butch says to his enormous opponent, “Let's get the rules straight first." Harvey straightens in surprise for a moment and says, “Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!" The script then says, “Butch delivers the most aesthetically exquisite kick in ...

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The Jazz Life

Does Talent Matter?

Read "Does Talent Matter?" reviewed by Peter Rubie


A good friend of mine, who is a recognized great guitarist, once said to me as we were standing at the bar of the old Birdland, “Charlie Christian really wasn't that good a player, you know." I looked at him for a moment, then said with a smile, “Are you trying to pick a fight with me?" He laughed. Busted! Not so long ago, another friend who wanted to be a novelist and had worked hard at it ...

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The Jazz Life

Growing Older Jazzfully

Read "Growing Older Jazzfully" reviewed by Peter Rubie


So there I was the other day, taking a yoga lesson, trying to loosen my aching muscles. I'm at that age where it aches if I do exercise, and I stiffen if I don't. The instructor was a young woman with the flexibility of a baby who can suck her own toes. She asked us to lie on our backs and make a figure 4 with our legs in the air, then grasp a thigh and pull back... You get ...


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