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Molly Holm

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present

Molly Holm
& Her Unmistakable Band


Vocalist/composer Molly Holm, with her all-star jazz quartet, explores the multicultural crossroads of improvised music through original compositions, straight-ahead and modal jazz tunes and traditional folk songs. Molly's music, often intertwined with the elements of North Indian raga, experimental vocals, or playful free-form improvisation, also reveals the rhythmic and note-bending influences inherited from the music of the African diaspora.

$22 General Admission

All About Jazz described Molly’s CD: “Edgy and defiant ... on the cutting edge of jazz vocals.”

In his blog, Jazz Station, Arnaldo DeSouteiro wrote: “‘Permission’ is an exercise in creativity and a lesson in adventurous music. It’s a completely unpredictable album, full of surprises on each and every track.”

Molly Holm is an unconventional singer and a composer who blends jazz, improvisation, and North Indian Raga, reflecting her early studies in North Indian raga with master vocalist Pandit Pran Nath. For nearly a decade, Molly was a key member of Bobby McFerrin's original Voicestra. She has also performed extensively with distinguished artists in world and avant-garde music including: minimalist composer/keyboardist Terry Riley (Khayal); tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain (“Rapt, No Strings”); choreographer June Watanabe (E.O. 9066); and George Coates Performance Works (Actual Shō). Having previously composed the music for Marcus Gardley's play “This World in a Woman’s Hands,” Molly was invited to collaborate with African-American Roots Music vocalist Linda Tillery to create the vocal score for Gardley’s acclaimed piece, “black odyssey”—a smash hit for California Shakespeare Theater's 2017 season and back by popular demand in September 2018!

Molly's 2013 CD, Permission, has been described as musically left leaning and “edgy and defiant.” Produced by pianist/arranger Frank Martin, and featuring five of Molly's original compositions, this “not-your-standard-jazz” CD is infused with the wide-ranging talents of Famoudou Don Moye, Jeff Chambers, Larry Schneider, Deszon Claiborne, Wayne Wallace, Antonia Minnecola and other special guests. Molly also sings on Indo-fusion saxophonist George Brooks' Night Spinner CD where she penned the lyrics to his composition “The Light Never Leaves Your Eyes,” dedicated to Pran Nath.

Northern California native Frank Martin continues a career as a pianist and keyboard player that has found him performing with everyone from Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Madonna, and Jennifer Hudson, to John McLaughlin, the Richard Bona Band, Trilok Gurtu and Larry Coryell, to Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Chris Isaak, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.

Owner of a San Rafael Recording Studio, Production credits include label artists as varied as Al Jarreau, Angela Bofill, Lisa Fisher, and Mimi Fox, to Indie artists Ellen Honert, Karen Blixt, and Nicolas Bearde. Sessions as the Arranger/Producer have included artists as diverse as Turtle Island String Quartet, Tuck & Patti, Dori Caymmi, Hiram Bullock, Randy Brecker, Patrice Rushen, Joey DeFrancesco, Buddy Montgomery, and Alex Acuna. He has traveled as Musical Director for artists Patti Austin, Angela Bofill, Narada Michael Walden, and Roy Ares to name a few.

Currently he serves as a Governor for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and is an adjunct Faculty member in the Jazz Dept. of the University of California at Berkeley, as well as on staff at the Berkeley Jazz

Las Vegas-based saxophonist Charles McNeal studied extensively in Denver, CO, privately and at the college level with teachers that include: Walt Fowler, Willie Hill, Rich Charluce, Keith Oxman, Ron Miles, Javon Jackson, Nelson Rangell, Brad Leali, Walter Barr. Has been a featured performer at many national and international festivals including: Monterey JazzFestival (CA), San Jose Jazz Festival (CA), San Francisco Jazz Festival (CA), Playboy Jazz Festival(CA), Telluride Jazz Festival (CO), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Porretta Soul Festival (Italy).

A talented and versatile bassist, Jeff Chambers is known for his impeccable timing, dynamic rhythms and improvisational dexterity. Chambers' musical style is both lyrical and playful. With his distinct touch, smooth sound and innovative sensibility he travels the vast tradition of rhythm-fueled bass playing, skillfully referencing his predecessors while exploring new musical territory. Chambers masterfully breaks the conventionally accepted boundaries of his instrument and forges new melodic possibilities. According to San Francisco Chronicle music critic Phil Elwood, "Jeff Chambers makes playing upright bass look and sound so easy with his rhythmic sense and melodic vocabulary". His facility to play both acoustic and electric bass allows him to express himself fluidly in a variety of idioms, including Bebop, Funk, Latin, Blues, Reggae and Fusion. In any genre, Jeff chambers is an improvisational master. "When I am playing music I have one destination, but many routes. It doesn't matter which one I choose; there are many ways to go. The musicians are listening to one another. I can walk with them; then I can venture off, saying am going this way. I'll meet you down the path. Sometimes one is a leader, then another. We switch up. The path is clearer if I close my eyes. I don't have to see the path; I just have to hear the path."

A native of the Bay Area, Deszon Claiborne began his musical career at the early age of ten. Virtually self taught in the beginning, he went on to study with world-renowned drummers such as Richard Peterson, Rick Quintinel (Chuck Brown school of Drumming), James Levi, Billy Cobham and Kenneth Nash , an experience which provided him with a strong foundation in jazz, rhythm & blues and world music. He has had the pleasure to perform or record with the following artists: Peter Apfelbaum, Don Cherry, Charles brown, Angela Bofill, Les McCann, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Robin Ford, Boz Scaggs, Greg Howe, Henry Butler, Giovani Hildalgo, Kai Eckhardt, John Handy, Taj Mahal, Donald Harrison, Rodney Franklin, and may others. In addition to his performing and recording credits, Deszon is also an educator. He has taught both private and group lessons to students of all ages and levels, youth to adult, and beginning to advanced. Deszon has also participated in music education programs in the Bay Area over the last 20 years, including Berkeley Jazz School, Jazz Camp West, Stanford Jazz Camp, Lafayette Summer Music camp, Moody’s Jazz Camp, Just Say Jazz, and Adventures in Music.

Earlier Event: October 17
Lynne Arriale
Later Event: October 21
William Beatty Trio