Jeff Cubeta

Our walk/photo shoot along NYC’s Highline (a beautifully landscaped city park that you MUST visit) was the first opportunity I have had to shoot some serious breeze with songwriter, musician and all-around-joy-to-be-with Jeff Cubeta. Oh, we have dipped into some interesting topics while working on music together – Jeff as coach/accompanist and me as singer – but there was always the music (to which Jeff contributes so artfully) to get back to. I was delighted when Jeff answered, ‘Yes.’ to my request to place him on the opposite side of my camera lens.
Were you a reader during your childhood? Any particular book that you liked above the others?
I read all of the Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary books.  I was a huge fan of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge and re-read them all the time.  I also tried to read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, but our school librarian pulled me aside and said that book was “more for girls”, and that I shouldn’t read it.

Is there another form of art – other than the one that is your profession – that is a passion and/or a hobby for you? If there is, which is it? and what is it that draws you?
I love film because it is such a fluid, living, breathing art form. So many films resonate with me on an emotional level, even years after I’ve seen them.
The Postal Service only honors the deceased with commemorative stamps. Who, in your estimation, have they overlooked?
I’d love to see a Harvey Milk Stamp, and if the internet news reportage is to be believed, we can see that in May of 2014!
What food would you like to try that you have not?
Hmmm….I love food, and I can’t think of a foodstuff that I’ve yearned to try but haven’t. Any kind of new-to-me dessert would certainly fall into that category.  (And anybody who’d like to prepare a new-to-me dessert would be welcome to do so! Please contact me directly to set up a time.)
Has cheering a particular sports team ever cost you a friendship?
No.  Thank you.
Ice cream or pie? what kind and why?
Must I choose?  Okay okay.  If I have to choose, I would actually go with pie because I’m lactose intolerant.  I’m especially fond of any of the berries:  blueberry, blackberry (my favorite), and cherry.  Apple is fine too.  The cream pies are okay in moderation. Too much custard just makes me feel like I need to be rolled home like a big butterball.
Tell me about a teacher from your K through 12 years that inspired you…
My piano teacher was really tremendous.  I started studying with him in first grade, and continued taking lessons until I was in 9th or 10th (I can’t remember which year!)  He was terrific in teaching music theory – as well as teaching how to play – but he also encouraged me and my brother (my brother took lessons too) to play pop music if that’s what we wanted.  (And we did want to play pop.)  I distinctly remember playing U2’s “With or Without You” on a recital one year, and I played “Alone” by Heart the next year.
Write a limerick (A limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.)
Okay, here goes…
I sat at the keyboard and froze
Like icicles off of my nose
I want to be witty
But may end up shitty
And came up with only zeroes
Is there a type of weather that you enjoy that other’s do not? What is it and why?
I do love warm weather.  I used to dislike the extreme cold and the extreme heat, but I’ve grown to like the heat because at least I can douse my forehead with cold water or stand in front of an air conditioner.  In the winter I seem to be cold all the time no matter how many layers I’m wearing, to the chagrin of most people around me.
Have you ever been embarrassed for falling down? What was the circumstance?
I spent my first year college in my hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, commuting to a local college and studying political science.  This was not my choice: I had wanted to study music and go away to  Eastman or one of the other “big name” music schools, but I was forced by my parents to do something I didn’t want. Catholic, lower-class guilt kicked in, and I obediently went along with their wishes. During the winter of that first school year, Pennsylvania received one of its trademark blizzard-level snowfalls.  I, in protest for not getting to study in my field of choice, refused to spend money on “silly” things like snow boots because I vowed I was saving up money to purchase a four-track recorder (and make records and become rich and famous, the end). So naturally, while running late to a class that I didn’t want to attend, in a blizzard, wearing improper shoes, I fell on my ass in the middle of an on-campus lane in front of various others.  Honestly, I didn’t care that much because I didn’t want to be there in the first place, so I guess I wasn’t all that embarrassed. Other than that, I actually don’t have too many falling-down stories!

Skydiving, Mountain climbing or Scuba diving?  Why?
I would say skydiving.  I know this sounds ridiculous, but I know of no one personally who is an avid mountain climber, and so I have no personal connection to it. And, to be honest, the whole idea just sounds incredibly dangerous to me.  Also (if this is even a reason) I hate the word “scuba”.  I’m left with skydiving, which is something my favorite aunt has done several times, and which I’d like to try someday. So there we are.