Seattle guitarist Greg Ruby and his five-piece band, hailing from New Orleans, New York and the PNW, are hitting the city with a set of unrecorded songs by Seattle jazz pioneer Frank D. Waldron. Prohibition-era jazz, conjuring up images of smoky speakeasies and ’20s dance halls, is the genre of choice for Greg Ruby and the Rhythms Runners, and their special program of never-before-heard songs–straight from the Emerald City–embodies the spirit of early jazz.
About the Frank Waldron set:
Frank Waldron—saxophonist, cornetist, composer, band leader and teacher—is arguably the most important figure in early Seattle jazz. From his studio at 1142 Jackson Street, Waldron not only tutored the major figures who emerged from that sizzling after-hours district during the 1940s—Quincy Jones, Buddy Catlett, others—his reach extended back another generation. In the 1920s he fronted the Odean Jazz Orchestra at the Nanking Café in downtown Seattle. There are few traces of Waldron’s early life, but he did leave behind one important artifact, a method book for budding young jazz sax players, Frank D. Waldron’s Syncopated Classic, published in 1924…now, thanks to Seattle-based hot club guitarist Greg Ruby, the rest of the world can hear those tunes.
For the most authentic (and fun!) experience, join them at Century Ballroom on Wednesday, March 23 where you can swing and shimmy to your heart’s content: $15 gets you into the dance, or an intro lesson with free dance entry (21+). If you’re not a dancer, catch them at Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall for a concert the following evening ($15 general admission).
Greg Ruby & The Rhythm Runners
When: Wednesday March 23 (9pm), Thursday March 24 (8pm)
Where: Century Ballroom (915 E Pine St), Cornish College of the Arts PONCHO Concert Hall (710 E Roy St)