Evan Rubinson ’10
Armadillo Enterprises, a Tampa guitar and
drum manufacturer, has been in the Rubinson
family since 1994. Evan Rubinson is the current
President and CEO of the company, which was
passed down to him by his father, Elliott.
Elliott Rubinson, who owned a successful chain
of music stores called Thoroughbred Music (he
sold it to Sam Ash in 1999), bought Dean Guitars
in 1995 with Armadillo as the holding compa-
Elliott began revitalizing the Dean brand, and
Armadillo blossomed from there. In 2004, Armadillo
purchased ddrum, which manufactures
acoustic and electronic drum sets, and in 2005
he started the Luna Guitars brand in-house.
Evan, meanwhile, learned the business, and to
play bass guitar, from his dad.
“One summer I worked the entire summer in his
because I really wanted this one bass guitar,”
Evan said. “(My dad) was like, ‘Look, you want it,
you work the whole summer for it.’”
Evan played football and ran track at Jesuit,
and he parlayed that into a track scholarship to
Duke University, where he also walked on to the
football team as running back/kick returner. He
graduated in 2014 with an economics degree and
In late 2016, Elliott was diagnosed with terminal
brain cancer. Evan, an only child, decided to take
over Armadillo for his father, who passed away
“I looked at it as an opportunity beyond my
father's grave to keep his legacy going and
also support many of the people that are at
my company today and have been here for 20
years,” he said.
Under Evan’s direction, Armadillo has continued
its growth trajectory. The company employs 58
people and does $30 million in revenue annually,
and has grown at a rate of 680 percent over the
last six years.
32 JESUIT 32 PERSPECTIVES • SPRING 2020
From the halls of Jesuit
to the heights of the
Tampa music scene
Year in and year out, the Jesuit High School community
rallies around the success of its students through
2019-20 school year, an alternative rock band comprised of
four seniors became a rallying point for Tigers and Tampa
area music lovers alike.
Visit Neptune rocked the Tibbett’s Corner stage in
downtown Tampa at the Gasparilla Music Festival on March
7 before several hundred fans and Jesuit faithful. The performance
came shortly after the band’s live appearance on
the WTSP-CBS 10News Great Day morning show on Feb.
26 and the release of its latest album, “Life as a Hypnotist,”
in January (available on all streaming services).
Riley Buchanan ’20, Trent Alexander ’20, Justin Bailey ’20,
and Aidan Henriksen ’20 are prime examples of friends
fostering a unique bond at Jesuit. Only they didn’t do so as
Buchanan, Alexander, and Henriksen all knew each other
from attending middle school together at Tampa Prep.
Buchanan and Alexander initially started playing together
at the Patel Conservatory’s Rock School, a camp for junior
“When I became friends with Trent, he told me he always
wanted to be in a band,” Buchanan said. “His older brothers
were in bands all throughout high school and college and
are still in one now. He wanted to be in a band as well.”
Alexander’s brother Patrick Alexander ’12 plays in the
band Wallysburg, which he formed after college. So, during
their freshman year on Himes Ave., Buchanan and Alexander
started a band of their own when they joined forces
with classmate Justin Bailey, a guitarist. Alexander had
picked up drums and also had several years of experience
playing piano, while Bailey had started guitar in 5th grade.
Buchanan and Alexander brought a blend of classic and
alternative rock to the band, while Bailey was raised on
to shred on Metallica or Van Halen tracks, so he brought
his brand new eight-string guitar. Instead, they practiced
covering the likes of Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys,
“I didn’t know these bands,” Bailey said, “but I like where
they took me. It’s good territory.”
Originally starting out as Neptune Street, named after the
location of their practices in Alexander’s garage, the band
eventually settled on Buchanan at lead vocals/guitar, Bailey
on lead guitar, and Alexander on drums. They were missing
Henriksen began playing guitar at Jesuit to avoid his fear
of public speaking. He lasted two days in his freshmen
Speech class before switching into an acoustic guitar
class. He picked it up quickly, and by his junior year, his old
Tampa Prep friends asked him to play bass in their band.
And like guitar, he picked up bass quickly as well.
“It's funny because I didn't want to speak in front of a class
Visit Neptune, L-R
Jesuit seniors Justin
Bailey, Trent Alexander,