Currently, during my life in the Bay Area, I’ve played most frequently as a guest with SFSound.
From my previous life in the Great Northwest, tops in the list would be the Tom Baker Quartet, which played innumerable gigs, including at the Knitting Factory and CBGB in NYC, released two complete albums, and played music for two of Tom’s operas. It was an incredible experience, and I learned a ton about music and about composing from Tom and my bandmates, Brian Cobb and Greg Campbell.
I was very honored to play in the Tom Varner Tentet, which recorded his Heaven and Hell. This was an ensemble capable of doing pretty much anything, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be a part of it.
Andrew Boscardin‘s Zubatto Syndicate was a fun wild band, and in that band was one of the few times I ever played anything close to what might be called traditional jazz. Of course they’re still playing music, I’m just not in there any more (sadly!).
I played a lot of chamber music once upon a time as well. With the Seattle New Music Ensemble — comprised of some excellent musicians — I had the pleasure of performing works by lots of modern and post-modern composers, with some masterworks in there as well. Most notably, and most thrilling for me personally, were performances of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. We also performed lots of other works that really spanned the whole map of modern chamber music — Joan Tower, Michael Torke, Elliott Carter, William Walton — and we did several commissions and premieres as well.
There was a great but short-lived group called the Meridian Ensemble (violin, clarinet, cello, piano) that did a bunch of premieres as well as Takemitsu’s Quatrain II.
I also performed frequently with the University of Washington Contemporary Group and on recital programs. A particular highlight from those days was doing Beethoven’s trio Op. 11 and Alban Berg’s Four Pieces on the same program.