Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

 New York City, New York, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Like original heroes Dylan, Lennon, etc., I aspire to make music that is both classic and contemporary, sincere and ironic, accessible and challenging. Having immersed myself as hobby and profession in the art of song since I was a kid, I believe I have something to say that's worth listening to.

Biography

Born in New York City, Ivan grew up in small-town New Jersey and upstate New York. He played piano by ear as a child and began putting together lyrics and chord patterns when he was nine. Ivan taught himself guitar a few years later and became consumed with writing songs in high school. Since then he has written hundreds of songs and instrumental pieces, composed scores for dance and theater, recorded a number of CDs and played with great musicians in many styles. But his first love remains the folk-rock singer-songwriter tradition.

Ivan has performed at venues all around the northeast since the mid-1990s: concerts, recitals, festivals, dance, comedy and theatrical events, city parks, bars, hotels, cafes, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, fundraisers, rallies, protests, parades, bar and bat mitzvahs, summer camps, schools, churches, synagogues, radio stations, train stations, weddings and parties.

In addition to his folk-rock wanderings, Ivan has played in several “world music” ensembles (with trombone great Roswell Rudd, Fode Sissoko and others), and has accompanied a wide range of performers on guitar, piano, drums, bass, mandolin and vocals. He has also taught numerous classes in rock, folk and blues history and performance, as well as guitar and songwriting lessons to dozens of students of all ages and levels.

What is Ivan’s Dream Band?....

Ivan’s Dream Band is made up of some of New York City’s best and most in-demand musicians dedicated to performing and recording the songs of Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis. Over the years the lineup has shifted somewhat but the core mission remains the same. The band performs and records in different configurations. Shows range from intimate solo/duo/trio performances to orchestral acoustic-electric rock with strings.

With organic grooves, old school chops and stylistic versatility, Ivan’s Dream Band has attracted a loyal following and achieved a profound level of rock n’ roll. The band plays regularly around the northeast. For more information click here.

The current rhythm section is composed of the great Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne and many others) on drums and the superb Richard Hammond (Angelique Kidjo, Nellie McKay and many others) on bass, with frequent appearances by other stellar musicians and singers.

Performing/recording members of Ivan’s Dream Band include:

Aaron Comess (2007-present)

Richard Hammond (2008-present)

Clarence Ferrari on fiddle (1994-present)

Meyer Horn on drums (1995-present)

Rod Sherwood on guitar and vocals (1996-present)

Adam Small on bass and production (2005-present)

Alisa Horn on cello (2008-present)

Roswell Rudd on trombone (2009-present)

Cat Martino on vocals (1994-present)

Casey Solomon on vocals (2004-present)

Marie Sylvester on vocals (2005-present)

Leah Siegel on vocals (2008-present)

Lexy Casano on vocals (2009-present)

Jon Graboff on pedal steel (2004-present)

David Grausman on piano/egg shaker/hooter (2000-present)

Stephan Schatz on drums/percussion (2000-present)

Arne Wendt on organ/keyboards (2009-present)

Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on cello (1994-present)

Greg Glassman on trumpet (2000-present)

Joe Strasser on drums (2006-present)

Andrea Valentini on drums (2006-present)

Tom Swafford on fiddle (2008-present)

Neal Miner on bass (2006-present)

Roberto Ruiz on bass (1994-1995)

Soundscape Music (1985-present)

Michael Ajerman on paintbrush (2000-present)

Lyrics

Lovely Face

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Lovely Face

In a lonely place no one hears you
In a lonely place you disappear.
You’re beautiful.

You’ve got a lovely face it really makes me smile
I see it every place saves me for awhile

You’re magical, you’re a miracle
You blow me away.

And I hope you understand
Your achievement, damn
When you turn it on
The flowers bloom

And when the good is through
ll you have to do
Is smile, just smile …

You’ve got a lovely face …

In a lonely place no one hears you
In a lonely place you disappear.
You’re beautiful, a miracle.

You blow me away
You blow me away
You blow me away

And your eyes call out to the world
And your eyes call out to me girl
And your eyes call out to the world …

Everything

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

everything

and i need you to know
just before i go
that i'll always hold you near me
it's been so confused
and if you feel used
i just want for you to hear me.

cause hey hey hey
life brings you everything
so much of everything.

and i hope you see
you will stay with me
even when i'm light years away
and i know you know
say it even though
always thought that we would find a way.

but hey hey hey life brings you everything
so much of everything.

come on lemme see you smile
come on lemme see you smile.

and i see your face
nearly everyplace
so much for living without you
cause in all the time
that your love was mine
you never gave me cause to doubt you

and hey hey hey life brings you everything
so much of everything ....

Everything

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

everything

and i need you to know
just before i go
that i'll always hold you near me
it's been so confused
and if you feel used
i just want for you to hear me.

cause hey hey hey
life brings you everything
so much of everything.

and i hope you see
you will stay with me
even when i'm light years away
and i know you know
say it even though
always thought that we would find a way.

but hey hey hey life brings you everything
so much of everything.

come on lemme see you smile
come on lemme see you smile.

and i see your face
nearly everyplace
so much for living without you
cause in all the time
that your love was mine
you never gave me cause to doubt you

and hey hey hey life brings you everything
so much of everything ....

Life Is Wasted

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Life Is Wasted

Life, life, life is wasted on the living
Life, life, life is wasted on the living
Give what you want I don’t care
Wear what you want I don’t care
Only the dead understand the value of life!

Youth, youth, youth is wasted on the young
Youth, youth, youth is wasted when you’re dumb (so dumb)
Fuck who you want and don’t care
Drink all you want and don’t care
Only the old farts know the value of youth!

Love, love, love is wasted on the lovers
Love, love, love is wasted on the others
Act like a bitch I don’t care
Whine all the time I don’t care
Only the lonely know the meaning of love!

Health, health, health is wasted on the healthy
Wealth, wealth, wealth is wasted on the wealthy
Stealth is wasted on the stealthy
Quealth is quasted on the quealthy
And only I know the value of you …
(Yes I do)!

Life Is Wasted

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Life Is Wasted

Life, life, life is wasted on the living
Life, life, life is wasted on the living
Give what you want I don’t care
Wear what you want I don’t care
Only the dead understand the value of life!

Youth, youth, youth is wasted on the young
Youth, youth, youth is wasted when you’re dumb (so dumb)
Fuck who you want and don’t care
Drink all you want and don’t care
Only the old farts know the value of youth!

Love, love, love is wasted on the lovers
Love, love, love is wasted on the others
Act like a bitch I don’t care
Whine all the time I don’t care
Only the lonely know the meaning of love!

Health, health, health is wasted on the healthy
Wealth, wealth, wealth is wasted on the wealthy
Stealth is wasted on the stealthy
Quealth is quasted on the quealthy
And only I know the value of you …
(Yes I do)!

Soldier Boy

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Please come for me I'm a soldier in the war
Let them come for me I can't take it anymore
I have served my sentence way out in this foreign land
While all shades of reality have vanished in the sand

When I joined the army I was no more than a kid
My city was a battlefield so that's what I did
Now I have served my country while the rich boys stay at home
Driving their Hummers out to the beach
Getting laid and getting stoned

Please come for me I'm a soldier in the war
Let them come for me I can't take it anymore

I'm not invincible, I'm not invincible
I'm not invincible, I'm not invincible
I'm not invincible, I never was ...

I'm not invincible, I'm not invincible
I'm not invincible, I'm not invincible
I'm not invincible, I never was ...

Please come for me I'm a soldier in the war
Let them come for me I can't take it anymore

A Better Place

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

A BETTER PLACE

THE WORLD WOULD BE A BETTER PLACE
IF ALL THE PEOPLE IN IT
THOUGHT TO SAVE THE HUMAN RACE
INSTEAD OF TRYING TO WIN IT

ROSES RISE FROM PAVEMENT
AND STRETCH UP TO THE SUN …

THIS PLACE WOULD BE A BETTER WORLD
IF ALL THE SOLDIERS FROM IT
TRADE THEIR GUNS FOR GUITARS
AND DO THEIR BEST TO STRUM IT

STRUM
STRUM
STRUM
STRUM!!!

All I Want For My Birthday

Written By: Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday
Is To Be Left Alone-lone-lone!

All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday
Is To Be Left Alone-lone-lone!

Let's Go!

I Don't Need No Candles
I Don't Need No Cake
I Don't Need No Big Surprise
Party At The Lake!

All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday
All I Want For My Birthday ...

Discography

"100 Songs" - 2011
"Ivan's Dream Band" - 2002
"Paprika and Uranium Buzz" - 1998
"Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis" - 1996