Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis
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Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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



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)