Mike DiRubbo

Primary Instrument: Sax, alto

Born: July 25, 1970    

Mike DiRubbo

“Something about the sound Mike DiRubbo elicits from the alto saxophone - deep, dark, immense, with a machete edge that denotes a ready-for-anything urban sensibility - immediately grabs the ear. It’s a sound familiar to the cream of New York’s hardcore jazz community since the mid-‘90’s” writes Ted Panken.

Connecticut-born, New York-based alto saxophonist/bandleader/composer/educator Mike DiRubbo was born on July 25th, 1970. His first instrument was the clarinet, which he started playing in the fourth grade. He switched to alto saxophone at the age of twelve. Largely self-taught, his interest in jazz was sparked when he performed with the Dwike Mitchell/Willie Ruff duo in high school. After graduating high school, DiRubbo enrolled in the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz of the Hartt School, University of Hartford, where legendary jazz alto saxophonist Jackie McLean – who played with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – personally instructed DiRubbo, who also studied with pianist Hotep Galeta, bassists Nat Reeves and Rick Rozie and classical saxophonist Ken Radnofsky. DiRubbo graduated from college in 1992 with a Bachelor of Music degree, stayed in his home state for a few years, gigging with fellow Hartt School alumnus, trombonist Steve Davis, and later moved to New York City in 1997. ...
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”[DiRubbo’s] solos seem to leap out of the speakers, with an intensity, at times, that borders on ferocious.” - Richard B. Kamens, Step Tempest

“The Grim Reaper’s pop was one bad dude and DiRubbo shows he can lead a New York sax trio and swing a sax like Chronos could swing a scythe.” - Chris Spector, The Midwest Record

“Mike DiRubbo plays with fire and intelligence, and his music dances with life.” Francis Davis, author of “Like Young”

“…a powerful, not-to-be-missed performer.” David A. Orthmann,

“…certainly one of the most exciting young alto saxophonists to emerge in quite some time.” Chris Hovan, Jazz&Blues Report

“There is something inexplicably unique about his tunes. Whether it’s a ballad, a midtempo jaunt or an uptempo cooker, once you get a feel for his style his songs become instantly recognizable. That’s a trait that few modern jazz composers possess, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some of his tunes were to be considered jazz standards some day.” Roman St. James,

“…the performances are first class all the way, melodic and inventive, and without a misplaced note…His tone is clear, his sound large and round, and his notes immaculately selected.” Steven Loewy, Cadence

“Mike DiRubbo is a powerful young altoist currently making a name for himself in New York…everything, including ballads, grooves with a bluesy, bop-based edge.” Chuck Berg, JazzTimes

“…unusually rich alto sound.” “There are few people who can play this kind of music this well. A real pleasure.” David R. Adler, All Music Guide

“He has his own unique sound on the saxophone…his expansive musical vocabulary exhibits a solid foundation in the bebop tradition that has been judiciously elevated through a liberal addition of post-Coltrane modality “ Russ Musto, AllAboutJazz-New York

  • Threshold

    Self Produced
  • Chronos

    Posi-Tone Records
  • Repercussion

    Posi-Tone Records
  • New York Accent

    Cellar Live
  • Human Spirit

    Criss Cross
  • Human Spirit

    Criss Cross
  • From the Inside Out

    Sharp Nine Records

This information is provided by or the profile administrator.

Primary Instrument:
Sax, alto

New York, NY

Willing to teach:

Virtuoso saxophones by RS Berkeley. VANDOREN reeds, ligatures and mouthpieces.

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Events Calendar

Date Venue Ticket
Aug16 Mike DiRubbo Quintet
New Haven Green
New Haven, CT

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Featured recording “Threshold”

Self Produced (2014)
Download jazz mp3 “Nelsonian” by Mike DiRubbo Download jazz mp3 “New Year's Dream” by Mike DiRubbo Download jazz mp3 “Down” by Mike DiRubbo
  • Down
  • Mike DiRubbo
  • Human Spirit

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