Rufina Tishina – Energetic, Talented, and Inspired

On Friday, July 29th, The Cobblestone is pleased to feature Rufina Trishina as one of three live jazz artists who will take their stage. Rufina is a recent graduate from DCU, and her trio tonight is comprised of two of her fellow students. With a mix of classical jazz, soul, and heavy metal experiences, Rufina’s Trio plans to put their own spin on standard jazz numbers, each musician bringing something new to old melodies.

Rufina Tishina first came about to jazz in a slightly unusual way: her first experiences with the music were when she was in her 20’s, at what she described as an “adult after school” program at a jazz club in her native Russia. Set up as an open-mic event for musicians, she sang there for the first time. “I did not listen to jazz growing up, unfortunately,” she said, admitting that music wasn’t a significant thing in her house. “I listened to rock n’ roll a little when I was a teenager, but my first time with jazz was at the after school club.” 

The first jazz album that she said really inspired her was Carmen McCrae’s album, Boy Meets Girl. “I didn’t want to sound exactly like her,” she said, “but she just really inspired me.” That inspiration would continue to grow when she moved to Ireland in 2018 to start studying as a vocalist at DCU . Her fellow students would come to be equally as impactful on her work, each one bringing something new and different to the table. “The other students would inspire me for my compositions,” she remembered, adding that “a lot of the people I play with were at DCU,” including the other two members of her current trio. 

Rufina is set to officially graduate from DCU at the end of the year, but for now isn’t sure exactly what she wants to do next. She certainly wants to record an album of her original music, but she’s in no hurry, preferring to wait until she feels the moment is right. In the meantime, she’s happy to be performing live, with other musicians, in front of an audience, again. “It felt really good to play live after the pandemic”, she said. It was possible to work with other vocalists online, but she “was so happy to play with other people.”

She plays with multiple musicians in different ensembles; right now her main focus is on her trio with two other DCU students, Rory Fleming (a saxophonist) and Eduardo Ramonde Diaz (a heavy metal guitarist). “Rory can play bass, alto…all the saxophones,” she laughed. Of Eduardo’s different musical background, she said that she “likes all the different sounds brought together…I like playing with people who play other kinds of music.” The musical stylings of her trio reflect that sentiment, taking classic jazz tunes and reinterpreting them through their own ears to create something new. 

One of the most striking things about Rufina is just how much love and appreciation she has for her fellow musicians. Where others might look elsewhere for their muse, hers are close by and all around her; she continually celebrates the genius of others, crediting it for inspiring her own work but never boasting about it. Yet when one hears her music (there are a few of her original compositions up on BandCamp) it’s impossible to deny that she herself is incredibly talented. As it turns out, there was a true-blue jazz musician inside all along, just waiting for her turn in the spotlight.
This event is co-sponsored by Babylon Radio and the Dublin Jazz Co-op and features Rufina Trishina’s Trio, Luisa Annibali’s Band, and Jennifer McMahon. Tickets for the event can be purchased at EventBrite.com; curtains go up at 8 p.m.

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Maura Corkery

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