Lisa Mezzacappa

Earworm: Palimpsest (VIDEO) from Lisa Mezzacappa on Vimeo

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 ensembles duo B., Cylinder, the Permanent Wave Ensemble, and the Oakland Active Orchestra. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, digital poetry, film, sculpture and public music/art. As curator, she programs the annual JazzPOP concert series at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; the monthly Monday Makeout creative music series in the Mission District of San Francisco, and a new quarterly music and film series, Mission Eye and Ear, at the Red Poppy Art House. 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 ethnomus icology from UC Berkeley (2003), and a BA in music from the University of Virginia (1997). She has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi’s, the Jazzschool, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; and the Montreal Jazz Festival; Canada. She performs regularly in New York City, where she leads an East Coast version of her jazz quartet, as well as the Brooklyn-meets-San Francisco trio Soft Pitch. Lisa has been awarded grants by Southern Exposure/the Warhol Foundation, the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, American Composers Forum, the City of Oakland and Meet the Composer. She currently performs in more than a dozen original jazz, pop, improv and chamber ensembles, working with bandleaders Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Randy McKean, Aaron Bennett, Graham Connah, Cory Wright, Tom Djll, and Ross Hammond, and collaborating with Darren Johnston, Katy Stephan, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, Murray Campbell, Jason Levis, Dina Maccabbee, Noah Phillips, Rob Ewing, Aaron Novik, Kasey Knudsen, Aaron Bennett, Vijay Anderson, Michael Coleman, Matt Nelson, Sam Ospovat, John Hanes, and many many others. For Gold Record Studio (2007-8), she co-hosted, with Jon Brumit, a free public recording studio for six weeks at an Oakland neighborhood flea market, assuming the role of record producer, audio engineer and musical instigator. For Earworms (2006-08), a collaboration with installation artist Deborah Aschheim, she composed and recorded 18 pieces, with more than a dozen musicians, for a series of sculptural installations exploring the relationships between music, memory and language. Nostalgia for the Future is another Aschheim collaboration that uses analog sounds, acoustic instruments and electronic processing in architecturally-inspired installations. Moths Drink the Tears is an ongoing digital poetry/music collaboration with poet Oni Buchanan.

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