Marc Ribot (pronounced:ˈriːboʊ);[1] (born 21 May 1954 in Newark, New Jersey) is a Jewish American guitarist and composer.

His own work has touched on many styles, including no wave, free jazz, and Cuban music. Ribot is also known for collaborating with other musicians, most notably Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, and composer John Zorn.


Ribot has worked extensively as a session guitarist. He has performed and recorded with Tom Waits, John Zorn, David Sylvian, Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, The Lounge Lizards, Arto Lindsay, T-Bone Burnett, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Cibo Matto, Elysian Fields, Sam Phillips, Elvis Costello, David Poe, Allen Ginsberg, Foetus, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Susana Baca, The Black Keys, Stan Ridgway, Vinicio Capossela, Alain Bashung, Hector Zazou, McCoy Tyner, Madeline Peyroux, Marianne Faithfull, and others.

Ribot's earliest session work was featured on Tom Waits' Rain Dogs (1985) and helped define Waits' new musical direction.[2] Ribot worked with Waits on many of his following albums including Franks Wild Years (1987), Mule Variations (1999) and Real Gone (2004). He has appeared on Elvis Costello's Spike, Mighty Like a Rose (1991), and Kojak Variety (1995). Ribot has appeared on numerous recordings by John Zorn, including many of Zorn's Filmworks recordings, solo performances on Zorn's Masada Guitars (also featuring Bill Frisell and Tim Sparks), and is a member of Zorn's Bar Kokhba Sextet and Electric Masada .

Ribot's first two albums featured The Rootless Cosmopolitans, followed by an album of works by Frantz Casseus for solo guitar. Further releases found him working in a variety of band and solo contexts including two albums with his self-described "dance band", Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos[3] (The Prosthetic Cubans), featuring compositions by Arsenio Rodriguez.

Ribot admitted to Guitar Player a relatively-limited technical facility due to learning to play right-handed: "That's a real limit, one that caused me a lot of grief when I was working with Jack McDuff and realizing I wasn't following in George Benson's footsteps. I couldn't be a straight-ahead jazz contender if you held a gun to my head, but that begs the question of whether I would want to be one."[4]

He currently performs and records with his group Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith of the avant-garde band Secret Chiefs 3.[5] Ribot's most current studio work involves several tracks accompanying the legendary pianist from John Coltrane's group, McCoy Tyner on his late 2008 album and DVD Guitars; which also features work with John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Derek Trucks.

A biographical documentary film about Marc Ribot was made, called The Lost String.

Ribot was also a judge for the 6th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[6]


  • Rootless Cosmopolitans (1990)
  • Requiem for What's His Name (1992)
  • Marc Ribot Plays Solo Guitar Works of Frantz Casseus (1993)
  • Shrek (1994)
  • The Book of Heads (1995)
  • Don't Blame Me (1995)
  • Shoe String Symphonettes (1997)
  • The Prosthetic Cubans (1998)
  • Yo! I Killed Your God (1999)
  • Muy Divertido! (2000)
  • Saints (2001)
  • Scelsi Morning (2003)
  • Soundtracks Volume 2 (2003)
  • Spiritual Unity (2005)
  • Asmodeus: Book of Angels Volume 7 (2007)
  • Exercises in Futility (2008)
  • Party Intellectuals (2008)


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Marc Ribot. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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