photo by Clifton Romig

Kurt Ribak (pronounced REE-bok, like the shoes) - bassist

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Kurt Ribak
          Trio - debut CD cover Kurt
          Ribak Trio "more" CD cover Kurt
          Ribak Trio - "gone" CD cover 
RECORDINGS - We have three CDs out.  You can also get downloads.  We're gonna record another this year.

I'm still recovering from the June 19, 2012 injuries to my arm and hand.  Surgeries and therapy continue.

I have another surgery in late March so will have to lay off the upright a while afterward.  I plan to record a fourth CD later this year.

Jinx Jones and the Jazzabilly All-Stars - Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Surf, Jazz and more
Friday, March 21, 8:30 - 11 PM
2424 Lincoln Ave, Alameda, CA 94501 (near Park)
Phone:(510) 522-1300
no cover, all ages

speisekammer logo
I'm really looking forward to this gig!  This is where Jinx and I really connected musically.  I've played many a gig here, both with Jinx and the late Regina Pontillo, and even with Scott Young and the TG5.  This place has really good German food, a great beer selection, a full bar, and is a place I've often gone to on my own time and dime, and has a hopping music scene. 

If you want to hear the band I strongly recommend reservations specifying your seating preference, or sitting at the bar.  This is going to be an eclectic night of music. 
speisekammer photo

Kurt Ribak Quartet - Original Jazz
Saturday, April 5, 8:30 PM - 12:30 AM

Hedley Room Lounge
Hotel De Anza

233 W Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA, 95113
Phone:866 539 8430‎
no cover, all ages

hotel de anza outsidehedley room

This show will have a different lineup than some - Mark "Markos" Sowlakis on woodwinds, Randy Craig on piano, Bryan Bowman on drums, and me on keyboard bass and maybe some vocals, as I'll be recovering from surgery and will be temporarily unable to play upright.   Randy is a veteran of the Pickle Family Circus Band.  He currently plays with Maurice Tani, who is one of my very favorite songwriters.  Markos and I have played together many times.  His clarinet playing is a real treat.  Bryan Bowman plays with a lot of the best jazz musicians in the Bay Area.

The Hedley Room Lounge has good food, wine and cocktails, and is in a beautifully restored Art Deco-era room. 

Kurt Ribak Trio Merchandise

CD Purchases -
You can buy the Kurt Ribak Trio CDs:

>online at CDBaby or by the download there, on iTunes,, and all the other usual online sources

>at The Groove Yard in Oakland at 5555 Claremont in Oakland,

>at Down Home Music,
10341 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA.

Buy the CD online - or buy downloads!

East Bay Express Review:There was a review of the CD in the "Local Licks" column of the East Bay Express. 

CD sales in Japan

Disk Union licensed the track "Prima," from the "more" CD by the Kurt Ribak Trio.   We are included in the "Jazz Bar 2008" recording, a compilation of recent jazz recordings.  The track "Pseudoafrocubanismo" from our debut CD ("Kurt Ribak Trio" - three fingers cover) was included in "Jazz Bar 2007," which has been selling well in Japan. 

Our newest CD, "gone" has been selling especially well in Japan.


Video interview of Kurt Ribak

This video interview was made by Lincoln Adler - Lincoln plays with us often and is the saxophonist of Times 4, the jazz-funk group Greg Sankovich also plays in.

Kurt Ribak Trio at Yoshi's San Francisco - June 30, 2009

Rest in Peace, Regina Pontillo

Regina always was possessed and transported by the music.  She could light up a room like nobody's business.  She had a big voice perfect for classic jazz, blues, and early country music.  She died in February from an asthma attack.

The family would appreciate donations to Regina's daughter, a minor orphaned as a result of her mother's death.  Donations to: Katia Pontillo CUTMA, First Republic Bank, 111 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA, 94111

If you prefer, donations can be made through PayPal to this email address: If using PayPal, please send money as a gift rather than a purchase, so as to avoid their fees.

The family would like to thank Michael Anjema, RN, CCRN, of Alta Bates Hospital Critical Care ICU and the many other caring staff and doctors there.

Here are a couple of video clips of Regina. The first one is from a couple of years ago at Speisekammer in Alameda.

The second one is from 1995.

The poster below was done by Maurice Tani, who also leads the country group 77 El Deora.

benefit poster

"...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

Facebook Links
The band's page
Kurt Ribak Trio / Quartet
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Kurt Ribak Trio played Yoshi's San Francisco June 30, 2009 and
Yoshi's Oakland Monday, July 19, 2010
(sold out on a Monday - not bad for a "local act")   and June 27, 2011

Thanks to everybody who came out to the shows.  There were great turnouts - heck, we sold out Yoshi's Oakland!  Yoshi's was very impressed with the ticket sales, and you were all a wonderful audience.  We were touched, grateful, and humbled by the turnout.  Thank you very much. 

These nights were among the high points in my life. 

If you see a SWR Baby Blue II combo bass amp, Serial Number BB0301 1181, please let me know! 

Hire us!

Kurt Ribak, individually, and the Kurt Ribak Trio collectively are available for other gigs. Leads for other gigs for the trio or for me as a sideman will be most welcome.   Feel free to call or e-mail.

Quotes about Kurt - > "Hugging Kurt is a like a big bear with no hair" - Monica, then age 5, to her father.

"...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

Bay Area Jazz Resources

Groove Yard Record Store and Newsletter
- Rick Ballard operates the Groove Yard at 5555 Claremont in Oakland. It's between the Rockridge and Temescal districts. It's a great jazz record store for used vinyl and new and used CDs by local as well as national and international artists. Rick has an e-mail newsletter. E-mail him at and request to be added and be up on the concerts, CDs, etc.

KCSM - FM Radio and Jazz Datebook
You can always check out who's playing in the Bay Area with KCSM-FM's Jazz Datebook.

You can listen to KCSM-FM  at 91.1 FM.  They are 24 hours jazz, no commercials. They are a huge contributor to the vitality of the Bay Area jazz scene.  You can listen online at

>We're like, all up in literature and stuff

Candy from Strangers
Candy From Strangers

Mark Coggins is the author of the August Riordan series of mystery novels. The August Riordan character is a wise-cracking tough guy PI who is also a jazz bassist.

I got to know Coggins a while ago and he asked if he could use some of my music for a KQED podcast of "Candy from Strangers", the third book in the August Riordan series. William P. Arney of the Noir City Film Festival reads the first chapter with my music accompanying the story - specifically, "Prelude to a B Movie" and "Pseudoafrocubanismo," which appeared on the Kurt Ribak Trio debut CD.

The podcast is permanently at the following location:

iTunes users can access The Writers' Block via the following URL:

Pulp Fiction
Also check out the Word for Word Theater Company performance of "Angel Face". This is a stage setting of a Cornell Woolrich story that originally appeared in the classic pulp magazine Black Mask.  Black Mask featured many of the best noir writers including Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

The Writers' Block is also distributed through NPR here:

To go directly to the audio, use either of these:
stream: k.rm.ram or
download: KQED_7092336.mp3

Kurt as a sideman - aka - Other People's Music

Here are some CDs I played on -

Sheilani Alix
Sheilani's debut CD is called "When Night Falls."  It features Greg Sankovich on piano, B-3 organ, and Rhodes electric piano, Lincoln Adler on saxes, Matt Willis on drums and percussion, Tim Fox on nylon-string guitar, and Kurt on bass.  Greg was music director and co-producer, and I contributed a tune, "September Rain" to the CD.  It's available for physical purchase or download on CDBaby.  You can also get it on iTunes and at West Portal Music in SF.

Lorna K
I have played with Lorna K for two decades.  She has a CD out entitled "Lorna K and the Dunes." The recording features her take on songs by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys as well as some radical reinterpretations of songs including Duke Ellington's "What Am I Here For."

Alex Walsh's CD "Light Another Candle"is pop - a lot of it sounds like Mott the Hoople meets the Replacements to me. This was recorded in 2003. I play electric bass and upright on it.

Brian Schindele's CD The Moral is original straightahead jazz. I like it - the title tune kicks off the CD with some great drumming. This CD features Brian, drummer Tim Vaughan, Sheldon Brown on tenor sax, Tom Griesser playing sax on one track, Dave Scott on trumpet, cornet, and flugelhorn, Larry Leight on trombone, and Connie Champagne as featured guest vocalist on a ballad track.

I regularly played with Stephen Bigger at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, where he was music director. "Lights on the Horizon" is a CD of his contemporary Christian songwriting. Stephen sings lead on a number of the tunes, but he also features Amy Beth Nickelson and Katie O'Gorman, two very talented young members of the congregation at Moraga Valley.

You can download the Kurt Ribak Trio recordings at iTunes and, as well as elsewhere. We've been getting some attention at emusic - the recording is rated four out of five stars. You can do a trial membership for cheap, and recordings are way cheaper to download at emusic than with iTunes.  The new recording is available for sale at iTunes, emusic, and elsewhere.

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