San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
THE BETH CUSTER ENSEMBLE performs the music of the myriad projects of Beth Custer and tunes of David James and is a veritable crème de la crème of Bay Area musicians including Jan Jackson on drums, (Will Bernard’s Motherbug, Black Pole, Chuck Berry), guitarist/vocalist David James (Afro Funk Experience, The Coup, Spearhead), Chris Gradyon trumpet (Tom Waits, Grassy Knoll, Jewel), Vicky Grossi on bass (Mitch Marcus, Bitches Brew, Graham Connah), vocalist Diana Mangano (Jefferson Airplane lead singer) andBeth Custer, clarinets/vocal/piano (Club Foot Orchestra, Trance Mission, Eighty Mile Beach).
BCE has toured performing around the globe for over 15 years. Recent projects include sold out concerts at Brava and The Freight and Salvage as part of Undercover Present's Joni Mitchell's Blue; performing live scores for Alexandre Hammid’s films at SF MOMA; performing live for AXIS Dance Company at the Casquelourd Malonga Center in Oakland; performing with The Joe Goode Performance Group’s dance/theatre productions at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in SF; premiering Prokofiev at Davies Symphony Halls After Hours Series; performing a CD release party and on the Go Left Festival at Yoshi’s, and touring Russia, England, Ireland, Czech Republic, and Republic of Georgia performing Custer's award winning score to the rare silent classic Soviet film My Grandmother.
With three CDs and one DVD released (Roam, Respect as a Religion, Dona Luz 30 Besos, My Grandmother) BCE has a solid and varied repertoire of songs and instrumentals by Custer and a few by bandmate David James. A set might include a funky political song followed by a poignant country waltz, and an Afro-fusion odd-metered instrumental.