He leads his own group Go-Go-Fightmaster, and performs in the Weasel Walter Quintet and Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait & Switch. Guitarist John Finkbeiner has performed and recorded with the best and brightest in the Bay Area music scene -- as a member of Darren Johnston's United Brassworkers Front, the Smith Dobson IV Quartet, Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait & Switch, Aaron Bennett's Go-Go Fightmaster, Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra, Vijay Anderson's Hardboiled Wonderland Sextet, and Scott Larson's Red Light Abatements, among many others. As recording engineer and co-founder of New, Improved Recording in Oakland, CA, John has shaped the sound of an emerging generation of West Coast creative musicians. He also leads his own dub reggae-jazz group Guerrilla H-Fi, and tours the world as an in-demand garage rock guitarist. Vijay Anderson is a freelance drummer/teacher/bandleader based in Oakland, California.
He has performed and recorded with Vinny Golia, John Tchicai, Roy Campbell, Graham Connah, Lynn Johnston, Ava Mendoza, Avram Fefer, Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra and Blue Spirit Band, Aaron Bennett’s Go-Go Fightmaster, the Facing East Dance Company, Marco Eneidi, and Smith Dobson V. He holds a B.A. in music from San Francisco State University, where he studied with Eddie Marshall, Francis Wong, Wayne Wallace and Hafez Modirzadeh. He earns an MFA in performance in 2010 from Mills College, where he has been studying composition and improvisation with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith and Willie Winant.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, he leads his own groups, the Vijay Anderson Quartet, which performs the music of Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Mal Waldron and Charlie Parker; the Touch and Go Quintet, a Bay Area band performing the music of guest musicians based outside the Bay Area; the Hard Boiled Wonderland Sextet; Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait & Switch, and the Dystemic Octet,performing improvised music for silent horror movies. Aram Shelton is a multi-instrumentalist on saxophones and clarinets, a composer & improviser, and creates electro-acoustic music through computer-based electronics. While the music he makes is spread across a variety of aesthetic lines, it is related by the importance of improvisation to develop material and express musical individuality. He currently lives in Oakland, California.
Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco-based bassist, composer, and musical instigator. An active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch and Nightshade, and co-leads the collectives duo B. with Jason Levis, and Cylinder with Aram Shelton, Darren Johnston and Kjell Nordeson, She has cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, new media and public music/art with artists Deborah Aschheim and Jon Brumit, filmmaker Mark Wilson, and poet Oni Buchanan. Lisa studied bass with Michael Formanek, improvisation with Henry Threadgill and Myra Melford, and has workshopped with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Bob Moses, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley and David Murray, among others.
She has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi's, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; and the Montreal Jazz Festival; Canada. Lisa has been artist-in-residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2008), Headlands Center for the Arts (2006), the Banff International Jazz Workshop (2000), and the Painted Bride Arts Center (2000). She holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley (2003), and a BA in music from the University of Virginia (1997). She currently performs in more than a dozen original jazz, pop, improv and chamber ensembles, working with bandleaders Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Graham Connah, Cory Wright, and Ross Hammond.
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