Thirteen years after arriving in New York City, trombonist/composer Ryan Keberle has performed with a jaw-dropping roster of legendary musicians across a vast array of styles. At 32, his resume is more eclectic and impressive than that of many musicians twice his age.
Keberle has performed with jazz greats including Maria Schneider and Wynton Marsalis as well as being an original member of up-and-comer Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society; hip-hop and R&B superstars like Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys; Latin jazz leaders like Pedro Giraudo and Ivan Lins; contemporary disco band Escort; played in the house band at Saturday Night Live, on soundtracks of films by Woody Allen, and in the pit for the Tony-winning Broadway musical In the Heights; and most recently toured with indie rock ground-breaker Sufjan Stevens, ushering him into a new arena of fresh, emotionally charged music.
For a musician with such a stunning range of ability and experience, it can seem daunting to find a common thread running throughout the entire range of inspiration and influence. The shared influence that Keberle found as he studied all of the music he most responded to was the direct emotional connection with listeners stemming from a shared root in the blues. So he set out to forge just such a bond with his own music, assembling an incredible new group in the process.
On his third CD, Music Is Emotion, Keberle combines that wealth of influence and experience into a bold group sound with the debut of his pianoless quartet, Catharsis. The band comprises some of the most compelling up-and-coming voices in jazz – trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Jorge Roeder, and drummer Eric Doob – for a vigorous set of melodic invention, heavy groove, and a subtle indie rock sensibility.