By Robert Goldberg | April 10, 2024

Meet Reuben, an eclectic producer and promoter of specially-curated events across New York City. With his affinity for both stand-up comedy and live music, Reuben crafts experiences that tantalize the senses and ignite the imagination. At the heart of Reuben’s work lies his unyielding passion for performance of all kinds, whether it’s comedy, music, improv, theater, dance, or that which has not yet been defined. From underground comedy clubs to rock music venues, he scours the city’s bustling scene for hidden gems, seeking out talents that defy conventions and captivate audiences with their unique acts. With a discerning eye and an ear tuned to the pulse of both mainstream and underground events, he curates lineups that promise an electrifying fusion of laughter and melody.

We were lucky enough to attend a recent show that Reuben put on at The Knitting Factory with some up and coming New York-based artists whose diverging vibes invited us to question, feel, and embark on a journey of discovery. Sylvan Paul was the middle act, whom we could only describe as a combination of Mac Demarco, Pink Floyd, and Johnny Cash in a dress. His smooth voice had us feeling like we were riding in a desert on a horse with nothing but a cowboy hat and flask – a feeling of freedom, serenity, and courage all at once. We really enjoyed his cover of “Fuck the Pain Away” by Peaches.

Closing out the music portion of the show was a favorite Brooklyn-based quintet of ours, Blahsum. Their high energy, don’t-give-a-damn attitude gets the crowd amped. It doesn’t matter if you just lost your job, or if your girlfriend just dumped you, Blahsum is here to make everything better by having a bangin’ time on stage and laughing with the crowd. Crazy psychedelic garage rock with a nod to the Beastie Boys at times are the vibes they give, and hedonistic tendencies are the lives they live.

We sat down with Reuben in March, where he answered a few questions for the groovement:

What was the first concert you attended? 
The first concert I ever attended was The Lumineers at Terminal 5 in February 2013. It was an awe-inspiring evening, and I was a big fan of their debut album heading into the show. I’ll never forget the experience of watching the magic happen live and the different ways that they kept the show dynamic throughout. 

Where are you from/when did you move to NYC? 
I was born and raised in Morningside Heights, right near Absolute Bagels and another lesser known landmark: Columbia University. I’ve lived in a few different places throughout my life, but I always feel most at home in NYC. I currently live in the outer reaches of Williamsburg. 

What do you do?
For a while I was working a normie job doing Project Management and Sales for a Hospitality company. The company did run some of the day to day service and operations at venues with live music but never anything related to the entertainment itself. Whenever I wasn’t working or commuting, I was focused on organizing comedy and music shows. Ultimately, I decided to part ways with that corporate job and go full-throttle as a freelancer in the live entertainment world. I knew that my time and energy was limited, and that opportunities to pursue your passions aren’t around forever. Your 20’s are a period of time with (generally) limited responsibilities, so it’s an appropriate time to take risks and try your hand at whatever excites you most professionally even if it might not make all that much money right away. Now that I’m free to grow my brand as I see fit, I’ve expanded its footprint to also include talent management, booking artists on shows around NYC, media and interviews for performers with a new release, and more! Lot of big things in the works for 2024 like a music festival slated for July!

Who/what do you draw inspiration from? 
My biggest role models are (in no particular order) – Bill Graham, Mitzi Shore, Peter Shapiro, Danny Meyer, & Hilly Kristal.

What does live music mean to you? 
Live music means the opportunity to witness public creative expression. To share in a moment with an artist as they showcase their soul to an audience through their musical creation. Live performance is ridiculously powerful, I’ve had some of the most profound moments of life while witnessing a concert. I’m always looking forward to the next one.

Connect w/ Reuben on Instagram.