Michael Coleman & Jacob Zimmerman

In late February I saw Michael and Jacob play a set of old tunes at a house show in Oakland. They were scheduled to record the set a few days later at Tiny Telephone and I asked if I could tag along with a couple of cameras. To my knowledge they haven’t yet released this album, but you can find more of their music at michaelcolemanmusic.com and jacobrexzimmerman.com

Weekly shareables of May 15


In the past month I’ve had a data storage issue that kept me from putting out any videos in our series. This is now solved. I’m looking to release a bunch of episodes I’ve been excited about including Ramon and Jessica, CopperWire, Meklit + The Nice Guy Trio, Beth Custer, Michael Coleman + Jacob Zimmerman and more…

Promoting non-pop music – help me learn

Is promoting jazz, chamber or avant-garde music anything like promoting pop singers? Do publicity, radio, social media work? Is it possible to create a fan base just by playing good music? In the next couple of months I’m looking to put together a series of blog posts or podcasts about different aspects of getting one’s music to an audience and monetizing it. I have some ideas and opinions, but I’m hoping to build most of the narrative by interviewing musicians, promoters, publicists and marketers. If you want to talk to me or know someone I should talk to, please send me a note.

I’m also going to use what I learn at workshops and discussions at De Anza college and the Red Poppy Art House in the coming weeks.

Chloe Veltman’s interview with Avi Ehrlich and me on KALW’s VoiceBox

Last week Chloe Veltman invited Avi (the founder of our Valencia street neighboring record label Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club) and me to talk about the challenges of running independent music companies. It was interesting conversation. Avi’s label has focused on punk bands, and he’s released over 100 records in the last 10-15 years. I’d been meaning to sit down and talk to him for a while just to pick his brain, but it hasn’t happened until Chloe’s invitation. Here’s the link to the podcast on iTunes.

Shoutout to Gaucho and Quinn Deveaux and their Kickstarter campaigns

I’ll be posting more about these bands. They’re raising money to record and release albums. Help them out. Click here for Gaucho or here for Quinn DeVeaux.


Weekly pick: UnderCover – May 19

This will be a crazy night with 8 bands and 50+ musicians paying tribute to Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Everyone who buys a ticket also gets a studio recording of the CD. Check out the preview and info here.

Wed. May 16 Bit Tree, Kapowski, Bells at Cafe du Nord (info)
Wed. May 16 Gaucho at Amnesia (info)
Sat. May 19 UnderCover at the Independent (info)
Sun. May 20 HowellDevine at Revolution Cafe (info)
Mon. May 21 Classical Revolution at Revolution Cafe (info)
Mon. May 21 Mike Olmos hosts a jam session at the Union Room (info)

Two albums out this week: klezmer and hip hop

Our April releases play like a tongue-in-cheek testament to our vision of complete disregard for genre boundaries: we are proud present our first hip hop and first klezmer albums: CopperWire’s Earthbound and the gonifs’ self-titled debut. They share more than the record label – eclectic jazz trumpeter Darren Johnston plays on both. Continue reading

Aaron Novik Thorny Brocky album preview

For a short time only Aaron Novik is hosting his entire upcoming album on Soundcloud. Listen as we prepare to print a limited edition 12”. Performed by Novik’s band Thorny Brocky, each song is dedicated to a friend, a musical influence or both.

The players:
Aaron Novik: bass clarinet, compositions
Dina Maccabee: violin
Kasey Knudsen: alto sax
Marié Abe: accordion, piano, organ, fender rhodes
Lisa Mezzacappa: bass
Jamie Moore: drums

Listen, enjoy, share.

Weekly shareables of April 10

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… and we’re back! I didn’t do an update last week – so much was happening. Last Friday we had our first jazz show at our space on Valencia in a few month. The quartet Jeff Denson / Joshua White group with Dayna Stephens and Hamir Atwal killed it, and I used the show to practice recording in our small and reverberant space. If you missed this show, you can catch the Dayna Stephens Trio at Red Poppy this Thursday. Also, I’m looking for help figuring out how to mic an upright piano in a very live small room for jazz combo recording – drop me a line.

And we’re not moving to Portland.


Please vote: Ramon and Jessica are nominated for SF artist of the month.

We’ve been working hard to promote our favorite singer-songwriter duo and are beginning to see the dividends. Help them win! Click here to vote. Use this link to post it to Facebook or Twitter: http://sf.thedelimagazine.com/snacks

Help Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review record an album

This will be the band’s second album, this time of all original songs by Quinn. The music is inspired by early soul from Memphis, New Orleans R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll like what you’d hear coming out of Sun Records or early Atlantic. They’re looking to raise $15,000 by June 23. Watch their video and donate here.

New release from Arts and Sciences

Arts and Sciences is Michael Coleman (piano), Jacob Zimmerman (alto sax), Matt Nelson (tenor sax), Jordan Glenn (drums). This one is on the avant garde side with all the usual suspects of the Oakland avant garde jazz & pop mashup scene. Listen here.


Thu. The Dayna Stephens Trio at Red Poppy Art House (info)
Sat. Quinn Deveaux & The Blue Beat Review at the Starry Plough in Berkeley (info)
Sun. Marcus Shelby Orchestra at Z Space (info)

Plus the weekly favorites:

Wed. Gaucho Jazz at Amnesia (more info)
Sun. HowellDevine at Revolution Cafe (more info)
Mon. Classical Revolution at Revolution Cafe (more info)

We are moving to Portland

We’re moving to Portland

…it’s time to put a bird on it…

The last three years have been magical. It was a pleasure and an inspiration to have been part of the amazingly creative arts scene here in San Francisco. This is why this decision has been so difficult, but as the airlines say, we have to take care of ourselves before helping others. For months we’ve been hearing that Portland is the new San Francisco, and after our irreplaceable associate Adam Willumsen moved there this weekend, we realized that we’d be remiss not to do the same. So after three years among the beautiful Victorians of the Mission District, we are biting the bullet, putting a bird on it and moving to Portland.

Continue reading

Weekly shareables of March 27

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This past week my time’s been occupied with accounting, and my mind with the figuring out my own plans for the next few years. SFSU accepted me to finish my masters in math next year (I dropped out 3 years ago to start Porto Franco). It’s time to start reviewing my abstract algebra and stats. I’m also applying to business schools in the fall. I’m curious about possibilities with an MBA in arts-related fields. If you’ve got any thoughts or advice, drop me a line.


Switchboard Festival is this Sunday

This is hands down the biggest thing this week with 13 bands performing in 8 hours at Brava Theater. Our artists Mercury Falls and Ramon & Jessica are playing along with many others I’m a big fan of. I’ll try to check out Beep! and Dominique Leone’s take on Stravinsky’s Les Noces and anything else I happen to catch.

Mark Matos & Os Beaches release Coyote and the Crosser

Their previous album Words of the Knife was one of Porto Franco’s first projects. It was fun, we learned a lot working on it. We wish Os Beaches all the best. Check out the record and my blog post about it here. You can purchase it for any price you name directly from the band.

CopperWire submits iPhone app to Apple Store and books release tour

Meklit, Gabriel and Ellias have been busy. Ellias’s company AppSynth Media just finished the first promo app for the project. It should be available through the iPhone app store on April 1, and there are iPad and Android versions in the works. I got a chance to play with it after the Meklit Hadero/Lizz Wright show, and it’s awesome.

The trio also booked a last minute release tour with shows in New York, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Check them out here.

Mark Growden and Mercury Falls are in town

The formerly local artists now rarely play in the Bay Area. Mark moved to New Orleans last summer, and Mercury Falls’ drummer Tim Bulkley lives in Brooklyn. Check out their shows below.


Thu. Mark Growden at Brick & Mortar Music Hall (more info)
Thu. Mercury Falls at Revolution Cafe (more info)
Fri. Kally Price at Bravado Cafe (formerly Pascucci) (more info)
Sat. Jamaican legend Ken Parker at Rockit Room (more info)
Sat. Wolf Larsen album release at Swedish American feat. Wolf & Crow (more info)
Sun. Switchboard festival 2-10pm at Brava Theater with an amazing lineup of Bay Area’s genre-defying artists. (more info)
Mon. Lisa Mezzacappa and Darren Johnston present Alex Pinto Trio, Ochs-Johnston-Robinson Trio and the Evan Francis Group at Project Make Out, Make-Out Room (more info)

Plus the weekly favorites:

Wed. Gaucho Jazz at Amnesia (more info)
Sun. HowellDevine at Revolution Cafe (more info)
Mon. Classical Revolution at Revolution Cafe (more info)

Weekly shareables of March 20

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I’m making our track of the week post a separate entity. We’ll post them in a couple of days.

It’s official. Adam Willumsen, who has been working with us for a year is moving to Portland at the end of the month. He sent you the CDs you bought, shot second camera, recorded and mixed sound on almost all of our videos, proofread our copy and did a ton of other things small and large around the office. This halves our work force. I can’t say we weren’t ready, but it is sad. It was great to have him. Wish him luck!

Until Adam leaves we are keeping a heavy shooting schedule with at least three more videos scheduled for this week. Coming soon: Beth Custer ensemble, Alsarah, Meklit, Sam Ospovat’s PIKI and, hopefully, more Nice Guy Trio.

I’m looking for help in our future video shoots. If you know your way around Pro Tools, Logic, or have a DSLR that shoots video, please send me a note.


Actual Jazz Series

Hosted by saxophonist Jacob Zimmerman and featuring rotating guest curators, this is one of the best regular jazz and improvised music shows around. It takes place from 5-7pm, so you can make it to another show the same evening, or call it an early night and head home. Last Sunday featured saxophonist and clarinetist Aram Shelton leading a quintet with Darren Johnston (tr), Mark Clifford (vibes), Atemu Aton (b), Alex Vittum (dr) playing the music from Dialogue – Bobby Hutcherson’s first album as leader. Next concert is curated by guitarist John Schott. More info at actualjazzseries.com

Actual Cafe’s BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato) on wheat is great. The show is free, but please do tip the musicians.

Robert Glasper Experiment

There was just enough time to get from Actual Jazz to Brick & Mortar in San Francisco to see Adam Theis and Aaron Kierbel duo warming up the sold out room for Robert Glasper. My motivation to see the show was two-fold. I’d heard a few of Glasper’s trio recordings and liked them. I also wanted to see what the show by a jazz artist who managed to find mainstream appeal in 2012 sounded and looked like. Robert Glasper Experiment’s newest album Black Radio came out on Blue Note Records and landed the group on every major TV talk show, got them to #4 on US R&B chart and topped the jazz charts. They rocked 15 minute songs with long solos, tight technical grooves and crazy drum breaks. The band was fronted by saxophonist Casey Benjamin playing alto and soprano sax with a harmonizer effect and a keytar-controlled vocoder that gave the band a sound simultaneously futuristic, distant and warm. The songs were mostly originals, but here’s a version of Smells Like Teen Spirit that I particularly liked on the album.

A note about our friends (and show listing sort-of-competitors) at hearitlocal.com

HearItLocal started as a independent show listing in Minneapolis and a couple of years ago expanded to San Francisco. They built a platform that helps venues and artists have media-rich (with pictures/videos/sound) show listings with minimum setup and maintenance on their websites. Now they’re launching a crowdfunding show platform to help artists and venues fund shows, and help fans look for artists to book for private events. If you’re a musician, I highly recommend getting your profile up and running. Check them out at hearitlocal.com.

If you missed…

Earlier this week on our blog: 1. we featured jazz drummer Vijay Anderson 2. New videos by Kally Price and Rob Reich Trio


Wed. Gaucho at Amnesia – Gypsy jazz from France and gut bucket jazz from Mississippi delta (free, weekly) (info)
Thu. Quinn Deveaux solo set at El Rio (info)
Thu. Porto Franco Free Thursdays at Yoshi’s Oakland with The Nice Guy Trio (info)
Thus. Jewish Music Festival presents: Bustan Quartet: Taiseer Elias, Zohar Fresco, Amir Milstein & Emmanuel Mann (info)
Fri. SFJazz presents: Lizz Wright and Meklit Hadero at Herbst Theater (info)
Fri. Karina Denike at Viracocha (info)
Sun. Seaweed Sway presents: Fox & Woman, Petoskey at Viracocha (info)
Sun. HowellDevine delta blues at Revolution Cafe (free, weekly) (info)
Sun. Jacob Zimmermans band Anteater hosts jam session at Bar 355 (Oakland) (info)
Mon. Mike Olmos residency and jam session at the Union Room (info)
Mon. Classical Revolution at Revolution Cafe (free, weekly) (info)

Drummer Vijay Anderson takes the Touch and Go Sextet to Europe

Vijay’s fundraiser

Vijay is raising money to take Touch and Go to their first European jazz festival this year. To support him, please make your donation at IndieGoGo.com

Listen to this 6-track compilation with one track coming from each of the players in Touch and Go. Vijay made the compilation available as a thank you gift for a $6 donation to his fundraiser.

In his interview Vijay brought up a lot of names I hadn’t known before, so I spent the last couple of days looking them up and put together this Spotify playlist. He doesn’t play on most of these records, but if you want to hear some of the musicians mentioned in this article, that should be a start.

Vijay Anderson by Peter Varshavsky

Vijay Anderson is one of the musicians you’ll run into a lot if you frequent Bay Area’s underground jazz shows. The music is always worth listening to, and the shows are almost always under-attended for the world-class musicianship you witness. Improvised music is a hard market. Like many avant-garde musicians, he chooses his projects carefully and supplements his income with part time work. You may have not heard his name, but his recordings and live shows are striking, and the seemingly unending list of artists he’s shared the stage or recorded with reads as an education in contemporary improvised music. Continue reading