Versatile musician Kurt Ribak (pronounced REE-bok), performs with His Mighty Combo, on Tuesday, September 24 at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. His music is described as “Charles Mingus meets The Meters. They go to Duke Ellington’s house to jam, and Cachao and Thelonious Monk sit in.” Kurt features his own compositions, which are original yet accessible, taken from his five albums, including his most recent recording “onward.”
The Mighty Combo is Greg Sankovich keyboards, Lincoln Adler sax, Ross Wilson brass, Myles Boisen guitar and lap steel guitar, David Rokeach drums, Michaelle Goerlitz percussion, and Kurt on bass and vocals. The members of this band have played with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Wild Mango, Tom Waits, kd lang, Benny Velarde, and many more stars as well.
Kurt's recordings are played on KCSM-FM, KPFA, KZSC, KZFR, KKUP, San Diego's Jazz 88, PRI and other jazz stations. He has led his group at venues throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including sold-out appearances at Yoshi’s and performances at San Jose Jazz Festival, Nor-Cal Jazz Festival, Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, Blue Note Napa, recently with SFJAZZ, and others including a club where Kurt discovered someone had stashed a loaded .45 handgun in his bass bag. Kurt rarely plays there anymore. He’s shared the stage with circus performers, preachers and fire-breathing strippers - but never all three at once. In addition to his own five CDs, he has appeared on a dozen other recordings.
"Kurt’s ability to take you on a journey from the deepest waters of the Caribbean to the funky alleys of the urban jungle in one listening makes him a truly gifted original in my book." - Chris Cortez, KCSM FM
Kurt’s musical background includes the San Francisco Boys Chorus, UC Berkeley's UC Jazz Ensembles, and the Berklee College of Music. During his training, he mastered the styles of bassists Paul Chambers, Ray Brown, and Charles Mingus, and came to love composition and songwriting. Early tunes reflect a strong Thelonious Monk influence, while others reflect his love of the great bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus. Later tunes bring to mind Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, and the South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim. His vocal numbers have been compared to Chet Baker, Dave Frishberg, Jon Hendricks, and Mose Allison.