Blame Sally is: Pam Delgado, Renee Harcourt, Jeri Jones and Monica Pasqual. These four accomplished instrumentalist/singers combine their strikingly different approaches to create a distinct and beautiful sound that's been described as emotionally charged, highly melodic, and compelling. The San Francisco Chronicle called Blame Sally's self-produced/self released second album "intelligently emotional, intricately harmonized folk-pop" with "imaginatively arranged, expansive narrative songs." Blame Sally released their potent anti-war song in 2001, long before protest became fashionable among the mainstream, and an updated version of that song is one of the 12 tracks on their third and most recent release, Severland. Their performance schedule has taken them from San Francisco, CA to Sardinia, Italy, including performances at some of the country's finest acoustic music festivals (such as
Strawberry Music Festival, Four Corners Folk Festival, Live Oak Music Festival), concert halls and listening rooms.
The Creole Belles were an unsigned band when they performed two years ago at KPFA’s Crafts and Music Fair, and it was this very appearance that led to the recording their self-titled cd for Arhoolie Records. According to Jeff Kaliss of Songlines Magazine, the Belles first cd is “an unaffected but elegant case study in how to assemble a contemporary album from traditional source material… Although recorded in California, this could easily pass through Louisiana cultural customs as the real deal." The Creole Belles are: Delilah Lee Lewis, fiddle & vocals, Maureen Karpan, accordion & vocals, Karen Leigh, guitar & vocals, Karen Celia Heil, stand-up bass & fiddle.
Fuga! blends traditional and experimental accordion licks with guitarras de son, driving bass lines, Latin American rhythms, and haunting female lead vocals into a vibrant punk rock border sound with lyrics that are at once defiant and ethereal. They took the name Fuga! after a popular barrio slang word meaning "watch out" or "it's time to go." Their sound was shaped by the exchange of music and politics in the vibrant underground music scene on both sides of the border.The essence of Fuga! is journeys: of music moving from tradition to the avant guard, of peoples moving from land to land, from oppression to hope.The group has toured steadily and opened for various artists including rock-en-español veterans Maldita Vecindad and Grammy award winners Julieta Venegas and Ozomatli. Their new album, Relatos Rebeldes (Puente Negro Records), is being produced by the acclaimed San Francisco-based, Latin music producer Greg Landau. Relatos Rebeldes is being released in early 2009.
Athens, Georgia born singer, Jackie Payne and blues guitarist Steve Edmonson forged a robust musical partnership in the late 1990s. Mixing R&B/Soul/Blues/Funk/Gospel influences into some well spun tales, Payne & Edmundson show why they are the West Coast’s answer to Chicago Blues and Memphis Soul. The band has recorded three CDs, "Partners in the Blues,” "Master of the Game," and this year’s “Overnight Sensation” for the Delta Groove label. Jackie Payne was the lead singer for the Johnny Otis Show for fifteen years. He recorded several albums with Otis's band and appeared for many years on the Johnny Otis Show, broadcast live, weekly on KPFA 94.1 FM. At this year’s KPFA Crafts and Music Fair, Jackie Payne is sure to show off his enormous pipes and Steve Edmonson his profound chops in the blues.
Kasey Knudsen is a San Francisco based saxophonist, composer & educator who earned her BA in Jazz Composition from Berkley College of Music in 2001. Knudsen was commissioned by the Jazz school's 2005 Emerging Artist Series to write and perform new work, and in 2007, she was commissioned by Intersection For The Arts in collaboration with the De Young Museum to write & perform a piece inspired by the work of visual artist Deborah Oropallo. In addition to fronting her own her own trio & sextet, Kasey has played with the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, The Slip, Joe Bagale & the Dirty Workshop, Adam Shulman Group, The Industrial Jazz Group, Disappear Incompletely, Terrence Brewer, The Monday Night Contemporary Jazz Orchestra at Pearl's, The Montclair Women's Big Band & many others. Knudsen currently teaches for the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley and the Jazz school in Berkeley, CA.
Oakland-born musician Kev Choice is a classically trained, jazz-educated pianist who sees little reason why jazz, hip-hop and classical music should be separated. Choice began rapping at age11, and about five years ago he started combining the three musical genres in his own unique musical compositions to create a cutting-edge mix of jazz arrangements, classical melodies and hip-hop rhymes. 32 year old Kev Choice has performed as a sideman with countless musicians, was a member of Michael Franti and Spearhead, and Music Director for Lauren Hill. He performs at this year’s KPFA Crafts and Music Fair as part of the Hard Knock Showcase!
Lucia Comnes is a singer and violinist who interprets songs from many traditions, with a rich background in performance and ethnomusicology, (in 2006 she completed her BA in Ethnomusicology after research in Ireland, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.) She sings in more than 30 different languages and leads a band that reflects this cultural versatility. An emotive and stunning performer, she takes her audience on a journey around the world as well as into the depths of the human soul. An aspiring composer, Lucia’s new album,“On the way,” was just released domestically in September. A San Francisco native, Lucia was trained since childhood in classical violin, a wide range of vocal techniques, musical theater and dance. She has studied many forms of traditional music, including Eastern European, Turkish, Rom (Gypsy), Latin and Jazz. In 2002, at age 18, Lucia joined Kitka, an internationally acclaimed women's a cappella vocal ensemble specializing in Balkan/Eastern European folk music, based in Oakland, as their first apprentice and youngest member. Lucia Comnes is also an environmental activist and she performs at this year’s KPFA Crafts and Music Fair for the first time.
Jazz pianist Mike Greensill is musical director to acclaimed vocalist Wesla Whitfield with whom he has recorded eighteen albums. His latest CD is The Mike Greensill Trio “Live at the Plush Room”. He is the resident piano player on Sedge Thomson’s weekly Public Radio show to the world, West Coast Live, and can be caught playing jazz and singing in many a San Francisco saloon. As an arranger Mike has had the opportunity to write for big bands and symphony orchestras including the Boston Pops and the San Francisco Symphony. As an accompanist, Mike has performed with such diverse talents as Rita Moreno,Margaret Whiting, Broadway stars Lillias White and Franc D'Ambrosio and jazz singers Madeline Eastman, Ann Hampton Callaway and Opie Bellas. Wesla's and Mike's latest CD "A Message From The Man In The Moon" is on their own label Pismo Productions.
Paula Frazer grew up in Sautee Nacoochee Georgia and Eureka Springs Arkansas. Her father was a minister and mother taught piano and played organ in the church so she grew up singing in the church choir and playing piano and guitar. After Paula moved to San Francisco, she played in bands like Frightwig, Pleasant Day, Trial, Faith No More (guest guitarist), Virginia Dare, Cloiter etc.... She started Tarnation in 1991, and played solo under Tarnation for the first few years with friends sitting in with me sometimes.
In 1994 Nuf Sed put out the first Tarnation record "I'll Give You Something to Cry About". 4AD picked up the record and put additional songs on it and called it "Gentle Creatures" released in 1995. 4AD and Reprise put out Paula's next record in 1997 called "Mirador". Then she dropped the Tarnation name for a while and put out 3 records on Birdman Records under the name - "Indoor Universe", "A Place Where I Know" and "Leave The Sad Things Behind". In March 2007, Paula put out a new record on Birdman Records called "Now It's Time".
Samora Pinderhughes is a 17 year old pianist, composer and arranger. He began studying Venezuelan and Cuban percussion at age two, and jazz and Latin piano at seven. He has received Downbeat Award for “best original composition/best song” for ‘Catch 22’, the title track on his first CD; an Earl “Fatha” Hines award for Superior Achievement in Piano Performance and a John H. Imbrie Memorial Scholarship for Superior Achievement in Composition from UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program. He has won awards for Outstanding Musicianship from the Folsom Jazz Festival in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and the Reno Jazz Festival in 2008. In 2007 he was commissioned to compose a Latin jazz piece for the prestigious Caramoor Music Festival, which he titled “Caminando”. He is first pianist with the nationally award-winning Berkeley High School jazz ensemble and combos under the direction of Charles Hamilton, and performs regularly with Berkeley High Jazz, the SF Jazz High School All-Stars, Indigo, and Catch 22, a duo he founded with his sister who plays flute and sings with the group.
Once in a while, an artist is born with an inexplicable connection to a culture far from the artist’s origins. Such is the case with vocalist Sandy Cressman, born in New York City of American parents, but with a Brazilian heart. Sandy Cressman began her recording career with the highly acclaimed vocal trio Pastiche, with whom she recorded 3 cds. In 1997, they expanded their group to a quintet, and in 1999, released "Homenagem Brasileira", their critically acclaimed tribute to the great composers and performers of Brazilian Jazz. At the KPFA Crafts and Music Fair, Sandy performs with her ensemble, comprised of Harvey Wainapel on saxophone and Carlinhos Oliveira on guitar.
Pianist, Organist, Composer, and Arranger Tammy Lynne Hall is one of the most in-demand musicians in the Bay Area. A truly versatile pianist, Tammy Hall can captivate her audience be they lovers of Jazz, Brasilian, or Classical. Her own compositions and arrangements are always crowd pleasers, and her prodigious accompanist skills make her a top choice for such singers as: Rhonda Benin, Frankye Kelly, Lady Mem'fis, Kim Nalley, Denise Perrier, Little Jimmy Scott, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, Voz Do Brazil and the great Etta Jones. Stylistically, Tammy Hall is equally gifted in Classical, Gospel, Jazz, Brazilian, Salsa and Funk. Her major influences include Tania Maria, Beethoven, Lizst, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mary Lou Williams, Dorothy Donnegan, and Thelonious Monk. Like her influences, Tammy brings virtuosity to the piano that is never ostentatious, and her approach to the music is always genuine and fresh.
Jazz Guitarist, Composer, Arranger, and Musical Director, Terrence Brewer fashions musical grooves that will hook and intrigue. For the last years 7 years, the entrepreneurial Brewer has led his own instrumental and vocal groups in nearly 2000 shows. He has shared the stage with legendary artists such as Michael McDonald (the Doobie Brothers), Mary Wilson (The Supremes), Pete Escovedo, Babatunde Lea, Kim Nalley, Scott Amendola, Tuck and Patti, Khalil Shaheed, and many others. His most recent cd, QuintEssential, was one of the last recordings at Berkeley’s Fantasy Studios, before the it closed its doors in September 2007. In 2006, Contra Costa Times Jazz and Cultural Arts writer Andy Gilbert proclaimed, “Over the past decade, Brewer has established himself as an accomplished improviser with an exquisite tone… His sound is marked by a balance and maturity more often found in much older players. [Brewer’s] graceful, well-constructed solos flow thematically out of his compositions, rather than turning his tunes into mere launching pads for displays of technique.”
UpSurge! presents a soundscape of song, spoken word, and jazz instrumentation which will assuredly result in a dynamic performance at this year’s Crafts and Music Fair. This East Bay poetry-jazz ensemble was voted "Best of the East Bay" in 2003, in the same year that their cd “Chromotology” was released. UpSurge! is an ensemble of piano, bass, drums, and frontline 'horns'—saxophone, trombone, and jazzpoets Raymond Nat Turner and Zigi Lowenberg, who bend metaphors and split similes throughout the swinging ride. While rooted in the tradition of Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets, they swing with a contemporary message.