Ryan Keberle is everywhere. The protean trombonist has made a name for himself as an in-demand sideman on seemingly every New York scene, performing in Latin bands, Broadway pits, and the horn sections of everyone from Alicia Keys to Sufjan Stevens. But even with all these gigs on his resume, Keberle considers himself a composer and improviser first.
His most recent album, Music Is Emotion (Alternate Side), features involved arrangements deftly performed by his pianoless quartet, Catharsis, with Mike Rodriguez on trumpet, Jorge Roeder on bass, and Eric Doob on drums. For the group’s next album, which they recorded in January, Keberle has added to the mix vocalist Camila Meza, who will also be at the group’s upcoming Gallery performance. We caught up with Ryan by phone to talk about his variegated career and current projects.
The Jazz Gallery: In addition to your solo work, you’re active in many musical fields. Do you change your mindset in some way when you enter a different setting?
Ryan Keberle: I definitely do. I think that the trick is to get to know each genre well enough so that you’re not having to think too hard, because otherwise…it sounds unnatural, and it sounds forced. Really, the key is to immerse yourself in whatever genre you’re looking to participate in so it really becomes a part of you and a part of your own musical language.
If you think you’ve got it, you probably don’t. You don’t have it until you don’t have to think about it anymore. (more…)