Kurt Ribak Trio

Kurt Ribak Trio

 Berkeley, California, USA

Style: Soulful, accessible, and eclectic original jazz. Mostly instrumental. The sound we go for is this: Charles Mingus meets the Meters. They play at Duke Ellington's house, and Thelonious Monk and Cachao sit in once in a while.


Kurt Ribak founded the Kurt Ribak Trio/Quartet as a vehicle for playing his original compositions. Kurt Ribak composes the lion's share of the music his group plays. Kurt considers himself a jazz musician first and foremost, but his compositions reflect his eclectic experiences as a working musician. He has played in everything from Latin groups to R&B and reggae bands, with stints in blues groups and circus bands breaking things up. A father with a deep love of tangos and traditional Latin music also left a big imprint on Kurt's musical influences.

Kurt's earliest influence was classical music, performing as a child in the San Francisco Boys' Chorus. Chorus experiences included performing with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. Kurt also spent many years playing cello before he moved to focusing on bass.

Kurt cites Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus as his original primary influences as a songwriter. Over time Duke Ellington as well as music of the Caribbean and Latin America increasingly influenced Kurt's writing. Other tunes of his reflect a love of the music of New Orleans, both its traditional jazz and its rhythm and blues music.

Kurt's compositions continue to be the bulk of the repertoire of his Trio but featured tunes include select standards by Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Arlen, and other contributors to the Great American Songbook.

Kurt Ribak Trio/Quartet

At a Glance

How do you pronounce Ribak?: REE-bok, like the shoes

Style: Soulful, eclectic, and accessible original jazz.

Instrumentation: Piano/keyboards, upright bass, drums


Friday, December 31, 8 PM to 12:20 AM
The Kurt Ribak Trio - Original Jazz
Prima Ristorante - http://primaristorante.com/
1522 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, CA

Notable Prior Gigs:
The Kurt Ribak Quartet performed at Yoshi's in Oakland on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 8 PM - one set only. We previously performed at Yoshi's San Francisco on June 30, 2009.

Kurt was interviewed by Alisa Clancy on KCSM-FM 91.1 at 9 AM on Wednesday, June 24, 2009. This was Kurt's fifth appearance on KCSM-FM. Kurt is planning a number of radio interviews in anticipation of the July 19 show at Yoshi's Oakland.

Venues Kurt Ribak has played:

Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, North Beach Jazz Festival, Union Street Jazz Festival, Shasta County Blues Festival, American Arts Festival, San Anselmo Art & Design Festival, and Yerba Buena Gardens.

Nightclubs and Restaurants
Yoshi’s, Pearl's, Pres a Vi, Chaya Brasserie, Prima Ristorante, Enrico’s, Hotel De Anza, Bruno’s, Shanghai 1930, Downtown Restaurant, Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood and Jazz, Jupiter, Paragon, LJ's Martini Club and Grille, The Albatross, Freight & Salvage, Club Deluxe, Café Bastille, Café Claude, Café de la Presse, Hi-Ball Lounge, Maritime Hall, San Francisco Legion of Honor, and many others.

First United Methodist (Pt. Richmond, CA), Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church (Moraga, CA), Christian Church of Pacific Grove (Pacific Grove, CA), and Lafayette United Methodist Church (Lafayette, CA).

Radio Shows
KCSM-FM (San Mateo, CA) Mid-Day Jazz, West Coast Live (KALW-FM, San Francisco, CA), KCSM Desert Island Jazz, KRKD (Oakland, CA) and others.

Gig info: http://www.ribak.com/gigs.html

CD info

Our first CD, "Kurt Ribak Trio" is now back in print after selling out its initial run. Our second CD, "more" is also almost sold out of its initial run. Our third CD, "gone" has been released. You can hear samples of them and purchase it at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kurtribaktrio.

All three CDs receive steady airplay on KCSM, KPFA, KKUP, and other stations.

You can also purchase them at http://www.afm6.org/cdstore.htm and at amazon.com. They are available for download at emusic.com and iTunes. You can also buy the CDs at Groove Yard, 5555 Claremont Avenue Oakland, CA 94618 and at Down Home Music, 10341 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

Contact: Kurt Ribak

Phone: 510-703-7035

e-mail: kurt@ribak.com

fax: 510-528-4774

postal mail:
P.O. Box 8045,
Berkeley, CA 94707-8045


Who’s Kurt Ribak?

Kurt Ribak (pronounced REE-bok, like the shoes) grew up in Berkeley, CA. Early musical experiences included singing in the San Francisco Boys Chorus. In grade school Kurt began studying the cello. Kurt later studied with major cellists, including Bonnie Hampton, Susie Napper, and Elisabeth LeGuin.

While a student at UC Berkeley Kurt began playing electric bass, buying his first good bass with money made working as a janitor. At Cal he continued to play classical music and studied jazz under Neal Heidler and Jeremy Cohen while playing in the UC Jazz Ensembles, where he met and first played with pianist Greg Sankovich. Kurt also studied West African drumming with C.K. Ladzekpo and spent summers teaching a


Like an Old Cigarette

Written By: Kurt Ribak

Like an old cigarette,
Like champagne that's gone flat,
Your love's grown cold,
And you no longer care for me.

Like cut flowers in the sun
Like a book left in the rain
Your love's grown cold,
And you no longer carefor me

I remember
Our days together
When love
filled my heart

I remember
Our love, a burning ember
With heat
that filled the night

Like a tale that lasts too long
Like a joke that falls flat
Your love's grown cold,
And you no longer care for me


Kurt Ribak Trio - "Kurt Ribak Trio" Rodia Records, 2005
Kurt Ribak Trio - "more" Rodia Records, 2007
Kurt Ribak Trio - "gone" Rodia Records, 2009

Set List

Limbo Jazz - Duke Ellington
It's Only a Paper Moon - Harold Arlen / Yip Harburg
Come Sunday - Duke Ellington
Like an Old Cigarette (tango) - Kurt Ribak
Prima (rhumba) - Kurt Ribak
Roy (rock'n'roll rumba) - Kurt Ribak
Bolero Amargo (bolero) - Kurt Ribak
The Munsters Have Martinis (swing or Latin)- Kurt Ribak
Pseudoafrocubanismo (cumbia) - Kurt Ribak
Finally Home - jazz / soul - Kurt Ribak
Just Got Paid (boogaloo) - Kurt Ribak