I’ll be heading over to the Lilypad in Cambridge tomorrow night for the jam session with David Arteaga from 9 to midnight to check out the scene. They say it gets busy there.  I want to also scope out the famous session at Wally’s on Mass. Ave. in Boston running 6 pm to 9 pm every ever-lovin’ day. Been here since 1977 and never been there. I think that might be a crime, but oh well, not my first and heaven knows not my last, at least not yet.

There are plusses and minuses to jam sessions. The big plus is playing out in front of a crowd. Like a poetry open mic the crowd tends to be very supportive because it is made up of folks who are about to perform. They don’t want people booing and catcalling, so they don’t do it either. It works out. The minuses are that of course there is no prior rehearsal, so your performance is necessarily somewhat basic, and you need to get a feel for the rhythm section very rapidly so you can be comfortable playing with them. Also you want them to be comfortable with you, which can also be a bit challenging since you just met them that second. All in all, though, it is definitely worth it. So if you play, definitely go out and jam if you have time.

Business is good. Got some great private parties lined up. I will keep you informed if we play out publicly anyplace. Be well and enjoy your Labor Day weekend! You deserve it. Don’t you?

I love to play.

Squirrel and Klezmer

Too Klez For Comfort – Roslindale Porchfest

Well, squirrels.  That’s just about the concert I can’t make down in Fairfield  Connecticut this Tuesday night, one of my favorite bands:  Squirrel Nut Zippers.  They’ll be playing at Stage One at 7:45 and I will not be there to hear some of the best growl trumpet and thirties swing style pop there is.  But if you are closer than me and have Tuesday night free, it will be well worth attending this early concert on a weeknight.

Instead I’ll be doing something almost as fun:  rehearsing with Too Klez For Comfort for our upcoming public appearance at Roslindale Porchfest September 16 – Porchfest 4:30 pm 12 Colberg Ave. Roslindale.  If y’all would sign up for my email list I would remind you, but that’s up to you, pookie.

TKFC does mostly traditional klezmer, but we also play some Yiddish theater pieces and a rumba or a tango here and there.  I’ll be working in a couple of early swing pieces as well to break things up.  Most likely “Jive at Five” for starters.



I am so thankful for the amazing people I make music with.  They make me smile and they make me laugh, and they wonders they produce with their voices and instruments are joyful and inspiring.  The musical life is a cascade of happiness unfolding.

I am grateful for the many opportunities I enjoy to make music.  To the Universe I say, “Keep it coming.”   I love this life.

If you have the chance to make music, or listen to music, or dance to music, by all means take the chance.  Have a little fun.



At Chianti in Beverly

Had a great time at Chianti Restaurant and Lounge in Beverly.  Once a month on a Sunday they have a wonderful jam session there and last Sunday I joined in, the lone bone in the crowd.  Got a nice groove going with the sax player there for a while, backing up Viva who would be the headliner later – Viva and the Reinforcements.  She has an amazing voice and wonderful energy.   It was very much a pleasure to make music with her.

Spoke to her drummer briefly.  He had a gig that morning in Boston that morning, so this would be his second of the day.  That’s a wonderful thing.

Players and singers here, they don’t need no charts, not like me.  I got to have a chart most of the time, like a security blanket I guess.  I might have played a tune a thousand times, I still want a chart.

In the picture the drummer in the background is Tyler Pederson.  Great drummer, especially with a swing beat.  And fun to watch, too.  The guitarist and me exchanged hellos as well, and really like everybody there is a very nice man, great player, but to my regret I forgot to write his name down.  I hope I run into him again.

Lots of fun there, excellent vocalists, great rhythm section, great time.


Tom Rubenoff Music can provide a jazz duo for a gallery opening,  a full swing band or a traditional klezmer band for your dancing and listening pleasure.  We feature great instrumentalists and vocalists, and we can mix up the program with different styles of music.

Please email me to start the conversation about the kind of entertainment you want at your event.