Interview with Greg Ruggiero

by Nathan Rios

Greg Ruggiero is a jazz musician, specifically a guitarist, who came and has been a New Yorker since 2004. Greg learned from the jazz musicians during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s who had played in New York . Ruggiero’s style comes from a mix of the American Songbook and Swing .He is currently playing with the Michaell Kanan trio and he performs as a sideman or leader around New York . Ruggiero has played in some of the most noticed musical clubs such as : Carnegie Hall, Mezzrow , Dizzy’s Coca Cola club room and more .During his time as a guitarist he has played with artists such as Micheal Kanan , Warren Vache , Bill Crow , Frank Morgan and the list goes on . His talent as guitarist has allowed him to travel the world to perform in places such as Spain, Japan , Portugal , Italy and Switzerland .


Nathan : Who inspired your love for jazz ?

Greg : My father , who always had people like Count Basie , Duke Ellington or Nat Cole playing on the stereo.

Nathan : What/ Who showed you your calling as a guitarist ?

Greg: My grandfather played a little and was my first introduction to guitar. Then it was starting bands and writing music with friends in high school.

Nathan :What is your favorite record you worked on as a sideman ?

Greg : Michael Kanan Trio, In This Moment.

Nathan : In which country were you most surprised to have a large amount of people come to see you perform ?

Greg :I played and taught at a week-long festival in Vigo, Spain . It was a great experience and made a strong connection with many of the local musicians.

Nathan : Which even that you performed at that caused you to be the most nervous ?

Greg : Probably playing concerts in my hometown of Albuquerque , New Mexico. For many years I felt self imposed pressure of feeling like I need to prove myself to people from my hometown.