Bay Area musician podcast

Ellen Seeling on Women in Jazz 

This post is incomplete. We will add the actual blog very soon. In the meantime, here’s the full personnel list of the Montclair Women’s Big Band!

Sherry & Ellen in the studio

Montclair Women’s Big Band

Ellen Seeling, Founder and Director, trumpet

Jean Fineberg, Assistant Director, composer, arranger, saxophone


Kasey Knudsen

Mad Duran

Jean Fineberg

Yvonne Lin

Carolyn Walter


Ellen Seeling

Marina Garza

Sarah Wilson

Tiffany Carrico


Mara Fox

Sarah Cline

Crystal Bryant

Becca Burrington


Erika Oba (piano)

Ruth Davies (bass)

Michaelle Goerlitz (Latin Percussion)

Lance (drums)

New Album coming up:

Women’s Work — compositions and arrangements by Women

Next show for Montclair Women’s Big Band

Nov 10, 2017 — San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (swing dance for Veteran’s Day)

More about Ellen’s advocacy efforts

Ellen Seeling on Women in Jazz was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Bay Area Musician: Will Ackerman 

Our interview with Will Ackerman will be covered in two episodes airing 7/16 and 7/23 6–7pm on KZSU 90.1 FM (or To listen to previous episodes, subscribe to

Season 2: Episode 2

Will Ackerman, renowned composer, guitarist, recording artist, founder of Windham Hill Records and the man essentially responsible for creating a whole new genre of music, was running late to our meeting. At least he had a good excuse. He had to run to town to pick up diesel fuel for his tractor.

When we finally connected with Will by phone, he apologized for his tardiness and explained that immediately following our interview he had chores to do, including mowing a field on his farm in Vermont.

What was scheduled as a 20-minute call concluded just shy of 2 hours as we delved into a variety of topics, including the history of Windham Hill, farming, construction, poetry, life in general, and, of course, the music business today.

Will Ackerman

Will and his wife have lived and worked on their property for over 20 years. After selling his share of Windham Hill Records in the mid ’90s, Will high-tailed it from the hustle and bustle of California and the music business to his refuge outside Brattleboro in Windham County. At last count, there were 17 buildings, all of them built by Will. (His first endeavor was Windham Hill Builders.) One of those structures encapsulates Imaginary Road Studios, where Will produces, not surprisingly, hand-crafted, pristine recordings for many acoustic-oriented artists.

Warmth vs. clinical perfection

After walking away from Windham Hill “with a bundle of dough,” Will decided to build his dream recording studio. Imaginary Road Studios is just that: a state-of-the-art facility blended with custom and vintage gear. But Will hastens to note that he views the machinery as a means to the end. “I see technology in service of beauty,” he comments.

To him, recording technique is only a part of the equation. It’s getting the best out of the performance of the artists that concerns him the most. And he brings the discipline of his sparse-but-elegant playing style to his role as a producer.

“If it’s not emotionally evocative, I don’t care how fast you can play,” he says.

But why produce at all? After a dozen-plus years building Windham Hill to a multi-million dollar business, he walked away and could have rightly claimed victory.

Instead, he waited the three years required under his non-compete clause and then went right back to work doing what he loves to do. He admits that the break was necessary, but it also gave him a renewed appreciation for the role of producer. And so he found himself back in business of mentoring, this time with a new generation of artists.

“I think I’m better at it now than I have ever been,” says Will, who acknowledges that a little wisdom, humility and perspective has been gained with age.

“My understanding of the gig is better than it ever has been. There’s no ego involved. I’m not a young man trying to prove anything anymore. I tell the people who come in here that I am working for them. I will tell them my opinion, but not angrily and egotistically.”

“There isn’t a metronome to be found in this place”

Will has assembled quite a team in his efforts to produce about 16 albums a year. In essence, he has his own “Wrecking Crew,” a group of top-flight, world-renowned musicians who will come in to support and back up various artists. “We laughingly call them our ‘House Band,’” says Will.

The roster starts with Will himself, as well as his partner and sound engineer Tom Eaton, an accomplished pianist. Other members include bassist Tony Levin, drummer Steve Holley and saxophonist Premik Russell Tubbs. They have collectively played with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Santana, and Lady Gaga, to name just a few.

Members of the House Band admit that sessions at Imaginary Road present some of the most challenging work in their careers. The music is essentially free-form. There are no charts, no click tracks. But Will’s intensity at getting just the right sound makes it critical to be on one’s game.

“The skill of Ackerman is he can listen”

Jeff Oster

We caught up with Bay Area composer and horn player Jeff Oster, who has produced four albums with Will.

Jeff, who has performed in everything from school marching bands to funk and lounge acts professionally, favors the flugelhorn and has developed a unique ambient style which he describes as “Miles meets Pink Floyd.” About a decade ago, after gaining traction on with tracks he recorded on a laptop using loops and a cheap microphone, Jeff decided it was time to take his sound to the next level.

He contacted Will and sent him a few tracks. “He listened to them, then called me up and said, ‘Your music is actually good,’ ” Jeff says with a laugh. It wasn’t long thereafter that Jeff found himself at Imaginary Road.

A professional and personal friendship quickly developed and now Jeff not only records his solo work there, he also sits in as a session musician at Imaginary Road. And he and Will are part of a new quartet known as FLOW. The group has just finished up a new album which will be released in October with a concert at Carnegie Hall. When asked about Will’s approach to recording, Jeff corroborated Will’s take on the process.

Flugenhornist and composer Jeff Oster

“There’s never a written note. We will listen, and build an entire performance. I have never seen Will with charts.”

We asked Jeff about Will’s philosophy as a producer.

“The skill of Ackerman is he can listen,” says Jeff. “I would have been done 10 takes earlier but he will always get the best out of the performer. He does it by feel. There is a degree of respect and a degree of pushback. It’s very collaborative.”

And as is true with his own compositions, Will is aiming to evoke feeling with music that stirs the soul.

“As a producer he gives you a lot of freedom and he waits for the magic. He knows how to capture it. He would rather have the essence of three notes than the skillset of 40.”

Next week: The early days of Windham Hill and the role of FM radio, the sense of community then vs. today, the return of “the muse” on a trip to Italy, and Will’s affinity for physical work.

You can listen to the music from today’s show, which includes:

The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter (Will Ackerman)

Next and On One Knee (Jeff Oster)

Ritual Dance (Michael Hedges)

Bay Area Musician highlights the Bay Area’s music and musicians, their insights, their journey, and their opinions on what we can do to ensure a bright future for the Bay Area music scene. The goal is to get listeners and musicians excited about the local scene and inspire the local community to seek out and support local/live music. Please send inquiries to
Bay Area Musician is hosted by Sherry & George from the jazz-pop duet 23rd Hour. Click here for more info

Bay Area Musician: Will Ackerman was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Guerrilla Composers Guild Part II 

This week we conclude our discussion with Nick Benavides, administrator for the Guerrilla Composers Guild (GCG) in San Francisco. The GCG is an organization dedicated to supporting composers of contemporary classical music and finding artists to perform the new compositions.

Nick is joined by fellow composer Michael Kropf, as well as performers Tori Hauk and Jessie Nucho from the Suroko duo.

We delve into a discussion about music in the Bay Area and what defines this region. Nick points out that the GCG is not necessarily about “pushing the envelope and ripping it open.”

“We don’t see ourselves as the Ballet Russe causing riots at Davies Symphony Hall. It is about cultivating talent. We run the gamut from very experimental music that might push people to be uncomfortable in their seats to music that is flowery. It’s really about honing the craft of those performers and composers. It’s really about putting a lot of faith in those artists.”

Michael Kropf sees the Bay Area as very different than New York City, often considered the epicenter of culture and art. As an undergrad, he lived in the Big Apple and then moved to San Francisco directly after.

“They are two very different scenes. New York is held up as the Gold Standard and it is a very vibrant scene. But I function better in the Bay Area because of its openness. All those things (that make New York special) exist in San Francisco without negative feelings or a feeling of conflict.”

“In New York there is always the sense someone is trying to take control of the narrative. I don’t think that’s ever been a part of the Bay Area scene.”

Jessie Nucho and Tori Hauk comment on the Bay Area’s environment for performers. Younger performers in high school are not only playing the traditional classical music, but eager to experiment.

Building audiences and community

One of the biggest challenges for any musical artist today is attracting new listeners. It is an especially acute problem in the classical music genre. But GCG is using some creative techniques to tackle the problem.

One of those tactics is to focus more on the ensembles than on the individual pieces of composition.

“It kind of works. We get people who want to see Suroko Duo. They want to see a human achievement on flute. Focus on the ensemble.”

The International Low Brass Trio performs “de Profundis” by composer Danny Clay

Another tactic is to make the performance intimate and interactive. They usually produce their events at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.

“It’s very supportive of the new music community. It’s essentially a big living room. We like to choose venues that facilitate interaction with the composers and the performers,” says Nick.

Advice for new musicians

We wrap up the show asking Nick and team to give advice to new musicians just starting out. Nick’s suggests artists work to help build opportunities for friends and build a community. By doing so, they will not only aid the community but generate opportunities for themselves as well.

Jessie from Suroko urge performers to “keep going. It takes a lot of effort to get things off the ground. It’s OK to have false starts. If you don’t give up and seek your authentic musical self, it will work.”

Tori adds that being a musicians is about 98 percent perseverance, and 2 percent talent. “Be graciously stubborn. Keep putting yourself out there and keep going.”

This week we feature in our show a wide variety of musical styles produced by the GCG. To listen, you can click here:

I Smoke My Pipe.

Three Lorca Songs


de Profundis

Hope you enjoy the music and the interview as much as we did!

Guerrilla Composers Guild Part II was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Guerilla Composers Guild 

Modern classical music is not only alive, it is thriving in the Bay Area. Evidence of that bold statement can be corroborated in the first of our two discussions with the San Francisco-based Guerrilla Composers Guild (GCG).

Founded by Nick Benavides and Danny Clay, the non-profit GCG brings performers and composers together in what we see as a very unique supportive environment that is mutually (and musically) beneficial to both types of artists.

For performers who are seeking new material, they can work directly with the composers. For composers, it is a chance to iterate on drafts of their oeuvres based on feedback from the performers.

We spend a good deal of time with Nick this week and with fellow composer Michael Kropf. Also joining us is Tori Hauk and Jessie Nucho, who together perform as the the flute duo “Siroku.”

“We don’t have any artistic agenda, we don’t want to tell people what to do,” says Nick Benavides, the administrator of GCG and a composer himself. “If they want to express a certain thing with two flutes, we want to help them achieve that vision to the fullest, whatever that vision is.”

The guild’s philosophy and approach seem to be working. To date, the organization has comissioned and premiered over 35 new pieces from over 30 composers.

Most pieces are performed at the Center for New Music in San Francisco and the next event for GCG at the center will take place in October. We have it on our calendar, and suggest you do the same.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in hearing (rather than reading about) the Guerrilla Composers Guild, check out their channel at

Alexandra Iranfar and Timothy Sherren perform as One Great City and debuted “A Small Picture of a Large Place” by composer Michael Kropf. (Photo by Matthew Wasburn)

Guerilla Composers Guild was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Grammy-Winning Bay Area Musician: Rob Hotchkiss 

This show will air Friday June 9, 4–5pm PT on and on KZSU 90.1 FM. We will add a streaming link here after the show airs.

On this episode of the Bay Area Musician, we had the pleasure of interviewing Rob Hotchkiss, co-founder of the SF Bay Area band “Train.”

The early Train records were a huge influence as I started songwriting in 2002–2003. It’s where I found my love for the raw acoustic, organic rock sound that is again reflected on Rob Hotchkiss’ latest release, “Midnight Ghost”.

In our conversation with Rob, we talk about how Train started, why he left the band, his work since then, and his advice for musicians. What does Rob have to say to musicians whose music may not be the hottest sound on the market? Listen to find out!

Coming up in the Bay Area

In our conversation, Rob tells us about how Train started as a duet with him and Pat Monahan, playing open mics at Hotel Utah and a few other clubs on Haight. The band must have had something special going on because shortly after, they were selling out the Fillmore.

Fast-forward a few years to 2002, past some label rejections and interminable tours in a van that occasionally caught on fire, the band is now playing “Drops of Jupiter” at the Grammy Awards and takes home two of the coveted trophies. According to Rob, there was never really a moment when they became an “overnight success.” It was all very gradual. He even points out that it was more impressive to him that they sold out the Fillmore so quickly than it was to win a Grammy.

Creative Differences

Rob’s musical contributions were instrumental in getting the band signed and can be heard on their albums “Train,” “Drops of Jupiter,” and “My Private Nation.” Their single “Drops of Jupiter” was nominated for 5 Grammy awards and took home Grammys for Best Rock Song and Best Arrangement. This success which catapulted the band to worldwide fame and it was then clear that the band’s sound was irreversibly moving into a pop direction, away from their roots sound that Rob had envisioned. Unwilling to compromise on making the music he loves, Rob left Train, despite the band’s commercial success.

Midnight Ghost

Rob talks about his album and how the title track feels quite special to him as a songwriter. We’re also treated to a very cute story about how his children (aged 2–11 at the time) were featured as guest performers, sometimes with the help of cookie bribes. Making music he loves with the people he loves most. If there’s any better definition of happiness, we can’t think of one.


“I don’t believe in Lennon” — Rob Hotchkiss (Try)

Next we talked about Rob’s music since leaving Train. One of the songs George and I both really enjoyed is “Try.” Rob explains that this line was meant as a tip of the hat to Lennon, but inevitably offended some Lennon fans who didn’t quite get the reference. George was very curious about the instrumentation. Rob was proud to say he played all the instruments, including the slide guitar on this track, and he was particularly pleased with how the acoustic sound cut through the electric feel of “Try.” Definitely one of our favorites on “Midnight Ghost.”

If he could jam with any Bay Area musician…

I believe this answer made George even more of a fan. Both Rob and George are major Beatles fans, and while growing up both had older brothers who loved Creedance Clearwater Revival. But then Rob chose for his “jamming partner” another major Bay Area artist and renowned rhythm guitarist: Steve Miller. He elaborates that rhythm guitarists are often underrated in his opinion. We couldn’t agree more!

What musicians need to succeed

Before ending the conversation, we asked Rob if he had any final advice for budding musicians who are trying to make it. His advice?

Listen to the show to find out :)

Show notes

Rob Hotchkiss’ website

Rob Hotchkiss’ Midnight Ghost album

Hotel Utah open mic in San Francisco

The Fillmore

Rob Hotchkiss with Train at the Grammys

Train’s first, self-titled album

Train’s “Drop of Jupiter” album

Steve Bowman, original drummer of The Counting Crows


The Counting Crows

Steve Miller

Ryan Hotchkiss

Featured tracks

“Midnight Ghost” by Rob Hotchkiss

“Try” by Rob Hotchkiss

“Rainmaker” by Rob Hotchkiss

“Lost In America” by Rob Hotchkiss

“Drops of Jupiter” by Train (music by Rob Hotchkiss, lyrics by Pat Monahan)

Bay Area Musician highlights the Bay Area’s music and musicians, their insights, their journey, and their opinions on what we can do to ensure a bright future for the Bay Area music scene. The goal is to get listeners and musicians excited about the local scene and inspire the local community to seek out and support local/live music. Please send inquiries to
Bay Area Musician is hosted by Sherry & George from the jazz-pop duet 23rd Hour. Their next live show will be on Saturday July 1st at Angelicas in Redwood City. Click here for more info

Grammy-Winning Bay Area Musician: Rob Hotchkiss was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Bay Area Musician: KC Turner 

A true San Francisco lover, KC Turner has spent the last decade devoted to the music community in the city. As a singer-songwriter, artist manager, show promoter and booker, KC has made a name for himself in the Bay Area Music Scene. We had the pleasure of chatting with him at the KZSU studio about his career, the music scene in the Bay Area, his amazing partner’s support, and how they made it all work.

I first learned about KC through Facebook. One of my friends was attending his open mic event and, as a curious musician, I went to his website and read about KC Turner Presents, SHHHHHongwriters Open Mic, House Concerts, Megan Slankard and KC’s music and tour dates. Based on the acts he was able to book, it was clear to me that this guy was doing something right. I signed up for the mailing list, followed, liked, etc. Although I didn’t make it to the events up in the city, I was cheering along.

When we decided to create Bay Area Musician interviews, KC was top of mind because I would often get notifications about new events. I thought he would be a great guest to talk about the music scene that perhaps might still be thriving under the radar. We were not disappointed!

Stream it live 4–5pm PT today on

Bay Area Musician: KC Turner was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Let’s get serious 

When hearing the term “Bay Area Music” you might be likely to think of Santana, Michael Franti, Counting Crows, Green Day, Doobie Brothers. Fun tunes, groovy bands.

This week, we take a look at some more “serious” music from the Bay Area.

We start with East Bay resident (and East Coast emigrant) John Adams, perhaps the pre-eminent contemporary classical composer in the Bay Area, best known for revitalizing modern opera with his work “Nixon in China.” Adam’s featured piece this week is “Phrygian Gates,” one of his very earliest compositions. Its title is a play on words, but not of the kingdom of Phrygia from Greek mythology (think Midas who turned things to gold).

It is instead a twist on what are known as modes in music, and the piece bounces between the Phrygian and Lydian degrees of scale. “Gates” in this context, is a reference to a term used in early electronic synthesizers (signifying on/off) that seems quite quaint now.

Next up is Carla Bley, who like Adams, is revered. Born in Oakland, Bley might have passed Adams on his journey west as she traveled east. She makes her home in upstate New York. But hey, she still qualifies as a Bay Area citizen since her musical education began at home in the East Bay.

Bley’s piece is the “Hotel Overture” to her jazz opera “Escalator Over the Hill.” This ambitious opus is to jazz and opera as important as “Nixon in China.”

Bley, by the way, just turned 81 this month. And another fun fact: she is married to the renowned bassist Steve Swallow. They have toured together as a duet for years.

We bounce back to the “classical” world — sort of — with Darius Milhaud. The French composer moved to Oakland to teach at Mills College in 1941. Before arriving, however, he toured New York and specifically Harlem, where he became enamored of jazz. Somewhere along the way, he also took a liking to Brazilian samba music, which you can hear in the third movement of this work titled “Scaramouche.”

Dave Brubeck probably needs little introduction. The Concord, CA native was the biggest jazz star of his generation and made this American musical genre something of a household name with his platinum-selling work “Time Out.”

We hear “Blue Rondo a la Turk” from this album. Blue Rondo is in 9/8 time. And, in fact, all the compositions on Time Out are in unusual time signatures. (Perhaps the best known is “Take Five.”) Brubeck was a student of Milhaud’s so we come full circle back from the classical world to the jazz world.

And finally, we hear from Lady Gaga.

Wait, you say, Lady Gaga is hardly in the realm of these composers and she is a New Yorker through and through. All very true. But what we have here is the Friction Quartet, a contemporary group with ties to the Bay Area, treating us to their take on Lady Gaga’s pop tune “Bad Romance.”

The four players in Friction are all graduates of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and are keen to use their talents to create a type of music alchemy, converting any composition — pop, rock or otherwise — into an arrangement more reminiscent of Ravel than America’s Top 40.

So there you have it. It may be “serious music,” but it sure is a lot of fun to hear, and you can do so by clicking on the playlist here.

Let’s get serious was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Playing through 

The legendary Graham Nash dropped in on one of the late shows recently and sat down to play one of his hits “Just a Song Before I Go.”

He has been playing this song for 40 years, performed it, no doubt, a thousand times. But on this night, live on network television in front of millions of viewers, he can’t remember the chord progressions. A few of the mistakes are slightly audible, others are clearly visible, at least to a guitarist. But he is cool and calm and finds his way through the piece.

Of course, it happens every day, in coffee houses or at Madison Square Garden or live on the Grammys. Performers make mistakes; there are technical glitches they have to endure. Sometimes the audience notices, sometimes not.

But how the performer handles the situation makes all the difference.

On another show, Celine Dion takes the stage, puts the microphone up to her mouth, but the voice emanating from the PA system is a man asking technical questions to the backstage audio crew. She puts her hand to her ear-piece and shakes her head to indicate she hears nothing. Finally, a guy rushes to stage with another microphone, and after what seems an eternity, they get the glitches worked out. She nonchalantly begins singing with a smile.

And then on one of the music awards show not long ago, Adele is performing a tribute to George Michael. She is off key, noticeably so. She decides to take matters into her own hands and abruptly halts the song, swears, and asks the band for a restart. She apologizes profusely to the audience, claiming that she has to get this right, in honor of her late countryman.

For me, in the above three examples, I admire Nash and Dion for persevering, especially Dion. None of this was her fault and yet here she was on a live broadcast looking silly. A prima donna could have (in his/her mind anyway) thrown a fit. She was graceful and resolved, and when the glitches were worked out, she carried on with her pitch-perfect tone as though nothing happened.

I’m ambivalent about Adele. She was on live TV after all, and hey, this was pretty good proof she wasn’t using auto-tuning or, worse yet, lip syncing. She claimed she was compelled to restart to honor George Michael. Maybe that was how she genuinely felt. But in that case, she was putting her feelings ahead of the audience’s. They were undoubtedly lost in the moment until she jolted them back to reality.

The press lavished praise on Adele’s bravery. Because of her star power, for her, it worked. For me, not so much.

The single biggest gift a performer can bring to his or her listeners is to make them feel transported out of that time and place, to let them feel lost in the moment of the music. It’s their time, not yours. They’ve paid money to see and hear you, and it’s your job to deliver.

The “restart because things aren’t quite just right” syndrome is behavior I see all too often. Drop into an open mic or weekend coffee house gig, and more often than not, someone is interrupting a song to retune or explain that they forgot a verse to their very own song.

If you didn’t think enough of the song to tune your guitar beforehand or to memorize your lyrics, then suck it up. That’s your fault, not the listeners’. By restarting, you get the chance to make it right in your mind. But you’ve just ruined the moment for the audience.

Lots of other greats have made mistakes and dealt with it in their ways. Ella Fitzgerald, in her later years, was performing with the inimitable jazz guitarist Joe Pass in Germany. After a flawless rendition of Nat King Cole’s hit “Nature Boy,” she asks for a do-over.

She apparently wasn’t happy with her performance for some reason, but she made it through, giving the audience the time and space. Compare that to Adele’s f-bomb-dropping fit.

Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton, in their respective “unplugged” albums in the ’90s, each made mistakes. Paul forgot his own lyrics, and started “We Can Work it Out” with the second verse. Ironically, when he restarts, he still messes up the lyrics. In my view, he could have played through the first time and the audience wouldn’t have cared. So no hall pass for him. (Though he did make light of it in his usual, goofy persona.)

Eric made a silly, unrecoverable error and had to halt his performance. He had just finished a song on the dobro using a slide on his little finger but didn’t realize he still had the slide on when he began playing the blues traditional “Alberta” using a standard guitar. He wasn’t going to get too far with that setup.

“Hang hang, hang on,” he says, laughing, and holding up his hand to reveal the slide. The audience laughs along.

Apparently, when the concert finished, he asked the audience if they would mind if he redid a few songs for the final taped version. Of course, they were happy to oblige. He repeated performances of five numbers, but the false start for “Alberta” earned a spot on the recordings, both audio and video. Proof we’re all human.

I had my Eric moment at a performance last year when I forgot to put a capo on my guitar. I played the first chord in E with the band playing in F. Not a good start.

I made a little joke, grabbed the capo and we moved on. It happens.

At another performance, I somehow managed to cut one of my fingers while playing guitar (it’s a dangerous profession). At the end of the set, the place looked like a crime scene, blood everywhere. No one but the band noticed, though. It was a little inside joke, best kept a secret.

So what’s the takeaway? First and foremost, the audience comes first.

— Play through if you can. There are mistakes you notice and ones the audience notices. Even the ones the audience notices are only a very brief moment in time.

— Be as quick as you can about a restart. If you have to take it from the top, for technical or other reasons, be as expeditious as you can to correct the situation.

— In all mishaps, be gracious and engaging with the listeners. Humor never hurts, either.

As the great jazz pianist/composer Bill Evans said, “There are no wrong notes, only wrong solutions.”

Music to my ears.

Playing through was originally published in BayAreaMusician on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Bay Area Musician is a show on KZSU's 90.1 FM hosted by Sherry & George.

Season 2 airs Sundays 6-7pm

The show highlights the Bay Area's music and musicians, their insights, their journey, and their opinions on what we can do to ensure a bright future for the Bay Area music scene. The goal is to get listeners and musicians excited about the local scene and inspire the local community to seek out and support local/live music.

We will post all of our Bay Area Musician summaries here and accompanying playlists when possible. 

This blog is also available on