Untapped SF: “A brilliant cross section of the Bay Area’s thriving jazz scene”

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The inaugural SF Offside Festival was a brilliant cross section of the Bay Area’s thriving jazz scene. Envisioned by co-founders Alex Pinto and Laura Maguire as the missing outlet for local jazz musicians—most festivals feature out-of-town acts and skip over the world-class musicians available in the area—the festival represented many overlooked colors of the jazz spectrum that thrive in the Bay…

Read more here: sf.untappedcities.com/2012/05/31/music-review-sf-offside-festival/

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – The Supplicants

The Supplicants headline SF Offside’s final night of music on Saturday, May 26th at Viracocha. The Supplicants have been performing in the Bay Area for over 10 years, mesmerizing audiences with a haunting sound and performances overflowing with emotion and intensity. Featuring David Ewell on bass, David Boyce on saxophone, and special guest Hamir Atwal on drums, SF Offside is honored to have The Supplicants close out this year’s festival.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

David Ewell – I don’t remember – maybe the basement at Kells? It was more than ten years ago….

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

DE – It would be fun to open for:

Kadri Gopalnath + Flying Lotus duo, Kool G Rap in 1989, Alice Coltrane in 1970, or the National Ballets of either Cambodia or Guinea.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

DE – We don’t tour.

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

DE – Looking forward to the hunt.

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

DE – Fragmentation, Acrimony, Decadence, Decay, Decline, Dull Inefficiency, Apocalypse, Joy, Prayer, Re-Birth, Triumph of the Underdog.

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – Rempis/Ochs/Johnston Trio

The Rempis/Ochs/Johnston Trio will be making a special appearance at the May 24th SF Offside concert at El Valenciano. The trio features Bay Area trumpet maestro Darren Johnston, saxophonist Larry Ochs, best known for his work with the groundbreaking ROVA saxophone quartet, and saxophonist Dave Rempis from Chicago, who has the unique distinction of being the only non-local of the festival! Learn more about this horn trio that embraces sincere musical freedom and tonal exploration.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

DJ – Our first and only previous time playing as a trio before this week was at the Active Music Series in Oakland, run by Aram Shelton. Rempis was in town visiting family so we took advantage of his visit by opening up for the Oakland Active Orchestra. We all do a lot of one-off improvised music shows, but this one was really special. Everyone listened so well, and improvised with such generosity and sense of form, that we all started wishing we could do it more. Ochs was trying to convince us that we needed to go break into a studio and record all night that same night! So now Dave’s back in town and we’re psyched to be playing this new festival alongside some of our favorite cats. This time we’re getting ready to record the next day too.

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

DJ – I’m not sure we’d be able to agree on a band to open for. Some might say Anthony Braxton. That of course would be fantastic! I think I’ll say the Tuneyards though.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

DJ –  Hmm. I’d be late leaving in the morning, I’d lose my cell phone, and I’d probably drive, so as to not get left behind when I’m late in the morning. Maybe one of those guys can cook.

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about SF Offside?

DJ – I’m looking forward to hearing my peers and celebrating the musical diversity of our local scene.

SFOFest – Describe your music in 15 words or less.

DJ – Our horn trio performs highly interactive, all improvised music that mixes jazz with modern classical music (“new music”) and more. At times melodic, rhythmic, and at times purely textural.

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – Alex Pinto Trio

Festival co-director Alex Pinto and his trio will be opening up the second night of the festival on Friday May 25th at 50 Mason Social House. Although Alex has been in the Bay Area only a short time, he has already made a name for himself as a young guitarist and composer to watch for. Trained in Hindustani classical music as well as jazz, Pinto has a distinctive, modern sound all of his own. His debut album, Inner State, was released last year to much critical acclaim.

I asked Alex the same questions he posed to all the other bands in the festival.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

AP – Our first gig was probably at Cafe Royale about a year ago, but we didn’t start feeling like a band until we opened for Kneebody in Nov 2011. We were all amped for that show and seems like after that we were just at another level.

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

AP – We would need a time machine, but opening for the following groups / people would be the ultimate experience: The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys, and sitarist Nikhil Banerjee.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

AP – I’m driving. Shaun would probably want to drive, practice, and cook simultaneously, but he would be the best chef. He’s got fancy tastes when it comes to food and drinks. And we would be driving to find Scott.

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

AP – I’m looking forward to spending time hanging out and listening to some of my favorite musicians in the Bay Area.

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

AP – Music without words blending modern jazz, Hindustani classical music, and the rock of our youth.

SF Bay Guardian: “Fascinating look into the current world of jazz”

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A brief but fascinating look into the current world of jazz, including an experimental night at El Valenciano with modern “garage jazz” quartet Bait & Switch, and brand new quintet These Are Our Hours, which features members of the Oakland Active Orchestra.

Read more here: www.sfbg.com/noise/2012/05/21/heads-7-must-see-concerts

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – Secret Sidewalk

Secret Sidewalk will open SF Offside’s third and final night of programming on May 26th at Viracocha. Originally started as a live electronic beat band by Mike Boo, Alex “Pu22l3” Abalos, and Asonic Garcia, Secret Sidewalk organically transformed into a Bay Area Voltron when joined with the amazing musicianship and likeminded experimentation of saxophonist Marcus Stephens and drummer Mike Reed. Get to know the genre-bending group, Secret Sidewalk.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

SS – The first gig as a trio was 4/20/10 at Som Bar for Change the Beat, a monthly presented by Mophno. The first gig for the full quintet took place at Coda’s Slumpnight. The night was hosted by Aspect McCarthy. No one in the band remembers the date but fun was had and faces were potentially melted.

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

Our dream opening slot would be for either Portishead, MF Doom, or Stark Reality.  If none of those acts were free, we’d settle for a spot opening for one of Herbie Hancock’s electric bands.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

SS – When we’re on the road, Mike Boo is the driver, Asonic is the chef, Mike Reed is the baker, Alex (Pu22le) is too busy to do anything because he’s building a new cell phone, and Marcus throws amplifiers.

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

SS – We look forward to raising eyebrows and tilting heads at the Offside Festival.

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

SS – Our music is from the BAY!  Electro-acoustic music by and for people
with eclectic tastes.

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – Erik Jekabson Trio

The Erik Jekabson Trio will be performing during SF Offside’s second night of programming on May 25th at 50 Mason Social House. Erik has made a name for himself as a top-call trumpet player on the Bay Area scene, easily shifting from writing for and leading his own ensembles to appearing as a sideman in many notable projects. He is also an active educator teaching at a range of music institutions in the Bay Area. Get to know The Erik Jekabson Trio.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

EJ – We played at a private party in the Oakland hills where Rita Moreno was hanging out. She ended up hanging out with the band a bit, Peter and Vince were just too cool.

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

EJ – Hmm, maybe Bud Shank.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

EJ – We all take turns driving, and all take turns navigating, and Peter decides where we go out to eat.

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

EJ – The chance to be part of something new that’s so positive, and to hear the other bands we’re playing with.

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

EJ – Grooving, playful, relaxed, transparent.

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – These Are Our Hours

These Are Our Hours will be headlining the May 24th SF Offside performance at El Valenciano.  Featuring Aram Shelton on alto saxophone, Theo Padouvas on trumpet, Mark Clifford on vibraphone, Kim Cass on bass, and Sam Ospovat on drums, TAOH explores a myriad of concepts grounded in jazz and free improvisation. Get to know more about this dynamic group which will be making its debut performance at SF Offside.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

Aram Shelton – This’ll be our first gig – but we’ve all been members of the Oakland Active Orchestra, which had it’s first show in October of 2009 at the Uptown in Oakland. That was the first of a string of 12 straight monthly shows where each member was invited to bring in pieces. The original lineup had me, Tom Djll, Darren Johnston, Aaron Bennet, Philip Greenlief, Cory Wright, Rob Ewing, Marielle Jakobsons, Kristian Aspelin, Lisa Mezzacappa, Damon Smith, Jordan Glenn and Weasel Walter.

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who would it be?

AS – I’d like to share a bill with the Norwegian/Swedish powerhouse band Atomic. Fantastic creative jazz music with strong writing and excellent players.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

AS – We need to get on the road! Once we do Theo will drive us on his motorcycle, and Sam will be late, because he’s wandering off to check something out, Mark’s bringing gelato for everyone, and I’m stressed about getting to the show on time….

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

AS –  Really looking forward to trying out some new ideas at the SF Offside Festival – and glad that there will be three nights of music showing the diversity of the scene out here in the bay.

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

AS – Creative avant jazz music with the classic lineup of saxophone, trumpet, vibraphone, bass, and drums.

Get to Know the Bands of SF Offside – Klaxon Mutant Jazz All Stars

The Klaxon Mutant Jazz All Stars features some the Bay Area’s finest and most versatile musicians. Henry Hung, trumpet, and Kasey Knudsen, saxophone, make up the front line, while Eric Garland, drums, George Ban Weiss, bass, and Colin Hogan, keyboard, round out the rhythm section. The Klaxon Mutant Jazz All Stars perform on Saturday, May 26th at a soon to be announced secret location. Their ambition is sky high and one day, they may change the world of popular music as we know it.

SFOFest – Tell us about your first gig.

KMJAS – We were young schoolmates in Liverpool, just a bunch of pals playing music, got a gig in Hamburg for a couple of months playing 8 hours a day, then came back to England, hooked up with a great producer, came to the States and became huge stars…wait..

SFOFest – If you could open for any band, past or present, who/whom would it would be?

KMJAS –  Kneebody. Deerhoof. And the obvious- Miles 60s-70s. Coltrane quartet.

SFOFest – If you’re on the road, who’s the driver, who’s the chef, who’s late leaving in the morning, who loses their cell phone etc?

KMJAS – If we’re on the road, Eric is playing trumpet, Kasey the keys (K for keys, get it?), George plays the sax, Henry plays the bass cause everyone loves a short bass player, and Colin plays the drums. Wait, Colin already plays drums, so he plays the bass… oops he does that as well. Colin plays nothing cause he can double on everything….

SFOFest – What’s one thing you’re looking forward to about the SF Offside Festival?

KMJAS – Knowing where the heck we’re playing on Saturday!

SFOFest – Describe your band’s music in 15 words or less.

KMJAS –  Swimming in joy.