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Ryan Keberle: Working Overtime

Trombonist, bandleader, relentlessly prolific sideman

Ryan Keberle
Ryan Keberle

Ryan Keberle requires more slide grease than the average trombonist. The 34-year-old’s fourth album as a leader, Into the Zone (Greenleaf), was released Sept. 30, and he continues to hold down gigs in the Maria Schneider Orchestra, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Miguel Zenón’s “Identities” Big Band, the David Berger Jazz Orchestra, the Ryan Truesdell-directed Gil Evans Project and Pedro Giraudo’s Expanded Ensemble. Keberle’s primary vehicle-and the band heard on Into the Zone-is Catharsis, a pianoless quintet featuring trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Jorge Roeder, drummer Eric Doob, vocalist Camila Meza and the leader on trombone and melodica.

The versatile Brooklyn-based musician also plays regularly on Broadway and with the Saturday Night Live Band, and is an established session musician for film and television. As a sideman in pop and rock, Keberle has performed alongside Alicia Keys, Sufjan Stevens and the Welcome Wagon. He recently turned down an international tour with St. Vincent and David Byrne due to a teaching commitment at Hunter College, where he heads the jazz program. With the maddening schedule, Keberle’s composing process is one of bits and pieces. “Since I’m short on time in my day-to-day existence, I might only get 10 minutes on the piano. But if I play something I like, I whip out the iPhone, voice record and tuck it away for another day,” Keberle says.

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