A monthly series curated by RDL+, Bay Area Bridges celebrates the Bay Area music scene with Oakland as its launch pad.

This month, RDL+ teams up with trombonist Patrick Malabuyo, reinventing older compositions, while creating new pieces.  Inspired by Malabuyo’s tone and creativity, RDL+ writes for him. Also a gifted composer/arranger, Malabuyo will present new work inspired by the collaboration.


Patrick Malabuyo




"My perspective, values, skills and talents were shaped from being born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area as the son of Levi and Josefina Malabuyo. My parents both migrated from the Philippines in the 1980’s and met at a church, singing in the choir. My mother left the Philippines on tour with a professional vocal group and decided to stay in the United States when she got here. My father left after graduating from the University of the Philippines in engineering and met up with some of his siblings who had moved to the U.S. previously. My mother, being a classically trained musician, gave me my earliest exposure and training as a musician. Still in the womb, I was listening to her choir rehearsals and recordings of Mozart and Chopin pieces. I eventually learned how to use my ears to listen more in detail to music. She would quiz me on my listening abilities by identifying the instrumentation as well as the basic voicings in chords when listening to music. But she was never strict about it, and usually did these mini lessons very casually. Because of that, I learned to love listening to music as well as learned to love learning more about it. I was sent to basic piano lesson from ages 4 through 12. I picked up the trombone at the elementary school band program after finding out drums were not offered and saxophones were out of stock.

My earliest exposure to Jazz was from my grandparents on my mother’s side who were young dancers of the swing era in New York City. After I joined the middle school jazz band program, I picked up recordings of popular dance bands of the 1930’s and 40’s like The Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman Orchestra. I later became fascinated Duke Ellington in high school after studying his biographies for a high school history report. It wasn’t until I started studying music in college that I learned about where that music was derived from and where it led to in the spectrum of Jazz History.

After many college years, successes and failures, I had to drop out of music school as my parents couldn’t afford to support me anymore. My mother had developed diabetes and healthcare costs kept going up, and I had too many setbacks in my progress academically. I seemed to do poorly in my academic classes because of my ‘rebel against the system’ attitude. I made enough connections during that time to find some work as a trombonist as well as become a member of the Bay Area’s own “Electric Squeezebox Orchestra” and helped record their two albums. The work I had as a trombonist couldn’t pay the bills, and my parents wanted me to be financially stable, so my Dad talked to one of his colleagues who owned an electrical engineering firm to give me a chance to do work as a drafter. I quickly picked up this skill, and now it is my regular job.

My approach to life and music is that I rely heavily on whatever the situation tends to dictate and make on the spot decisions to create harmony, work with the dissonance, and sing the story in the rhythms that are felt in the spirit of any given moment. The music world is a place that makes the most sense to me, where I feel the most love, and where I have the most fun. It’s a place where who I am isn’t as important to me as how I act and react to the music being created, and if I make a tasteful impact on it. I hope to bring this approach to any of the other worlds I experience so that I may bridge them to this wonderful place I call 'The Music World'"  – Patrick Malabuyo

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With their 2014 debut album, Más P’alla Va, RDL+ is building an original sound that embodies the members’ collective ideas, inspirations, and histories. RDL+ is Ruthie Dineen on keys, Doug Lee on bass, Luis Salcedo on guitar, plus(+) the Bay Area's best up-and-coming musicians. The group focuses on writing and playing original compositions, while taking both lyrical and open improvisations on the pieces. While maintaining an aesthetic stemming from traditional jazz, the group experiments with odd meters, timbre, form, and melodic ideas.  Nonetheless, the exploratory nature of the group is always rooted in the essence of the composed or arranged pieces.

Ruthie Dineen, piano
Doug Lee, bass
Luis Salcedo, guitar

RDL+ Website | Ruthie Dineen Website | Doug Lee's Website | RDL+ Facebook | High Hopes Video | Hasta Nunca Video España Video



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