Jazz from the Fertile New York Scene

We’ll be getting a visit from a couple of New York jazz musicians on Sunday. On Oct. 27, saxophonist Mike DiRubbo and pianist Larry Willis will be delivering their own unique jazz sounds at the Yukon Arts Centre, playing songs from their 2011 album Four Hands, One Heart.

DiRubbo says this is the first time they are making a visit to Whitehorse.

“I am looking forward to it,” he says. “I had a weekend booked at the Cellar in Vancouver with Larry Willis, and contacted the Yukon Jazz folks about our duo project, and here we are.”

DiRubbo is no stranger to the vibrant jazz world.

“I have been playing seriously for 25 (years), but I’ve had a horn in my hands for over 34 years,” he says.

The musician has played numerous shows across the globe, and shows no signs of slowing down, founding his own record label, Ksanti Records in 2011.

“The disintegration of the major labels plus the elimination of middle-man distribution, because of the internet, has paved the way for us to have our own labels,” DiRubbo says. “We already have to be entrepreneurial in the changing times of the music business so the extra work to have your own label is most definitely worth the effort.”

The business venture has paid off, as he has a full tour scheduled this fall across North America and England.

In addition to Four Hands Two Hearts, DiRubbo has six other albums. The musician credits New York City as a partial inspiration for his music.

“It’s vibrant and challenging, full of excellent musicians on every instrument,” he says of NYC. “You can hear something interesting every night.”

The rest of his inspiration stems from jazz legends Charlie Parker, Jackie McLean, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Art Blakey.

Next, DiRubbo’s hopes to raise money for his seventh album through a crowd-source funding company called Indiegogo (www.indiegogo.com), which will allow patrons to contribute to his musical vision.

“Through the use of a crowd funding campaign, you are directly supporting the artist, and the artist delivers music to you in the purest form without any outside influences,” he says.

Different donation levels come with perks ranging from a personal saxophone lesson with DiRubbo, to being named as a producer on the album.

DiRubbo is planning something a little different for the upcoming album. “Normally I record compositions with a band that I may not play with again,” he says. “What I would like to create are compositions with my current working band.”?In the meantime, DiRubbo is focused on his current tour. Mike DiRubbo and Larry Willis perform on Oct. 27 at the Yukon Arts Centre. The show begins at 7:30 p.m., for information go to www.YukonArtsCentre.com.

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