past collaborations

Markus James (2010)

Etty Ben-Zaken and Ensemble Yatán Atán

Ensemble Sendebar (2006-07)

John Moremen
& Mark Robinson

Ray Cepeda

Pharoah Sanders
& Yassir Chadly
(1992-94, 2002)

Walter Aziz (2001-07)

Gamelan Sari Raras (1989-91, 96-98)

Cheb Nasro

(Not) Memory Green (1988-89)

Markus James

Mississipi-Mali meets Marrakech


Sat in with the fantastic guitarist Markus James for an Ashkenaz gig and a live session at KPFA in the summer of 2010.

Find Markus James here:
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Ensemble Sendebar

Music of Medieval Iberia, Heavy on the Percussion


A multi-continental ensemble (with members from the US, Brazil, and Spain), specializing in medieval music of the Iberian peninsula. Led by scholar and performer Mauricio Molina, the group animates the performance of early music with the raucous rhythms and heterogeneous timbres of Catalan and Moroccan folk music. I performed with the group on Moroccan percussion and guinbri several times in 2006-07, including a concert at the 2007 Amherst Early Music Festival.

Find Sendebar/Mauricio Molina here:
sendebar_logo wordpress

Ray Cepeda

Latin World Rocker


The man with the double neck tres - the coolest axe in the East Bay! I held down bass duties with Ray's latin rock group for a few gigs in the summer of 2005.

Find Ray Cepeda here:
ray_studio reverbnation

Walter Aziz

Assyrian Nights in California


Walter Aziz is a well-known and influential Assyrian pop singer based in the Bay Area. I played electric guitar in his group for several years, most often at private functions in the Assyrian and Arab communities in the Bay Area and Central Valley. Walter has released many albums of original songs in the Assyrian (neo-Aramaic) language. In addition to these original songs, his live repertoire includes current Arabic pop hits and other international standards.

find Walter Aziz here:
aziz myspace

Etty Ben-Zaken
and Ensemble Yatán Atán

Ladino Love Songs


I did a number of performances with the stunning singer Etty Ben Zaken of a song cycle of Ladino wedding and love songs, arranged by Eitan Steinberg. The arrangements are quite striking, written for viola da gamba, baroque recorders, classical guitar and Middle Eastern/North African percussion (yours truly). With Etty's voice on top, it was an unforgettable combination. I also appear on the album of the song cycle:
The Bride Unfastens Her Braids, The Groom Faints: Ladino Love Songs

Find Etty Ben-Zaken and Eitan Steinberg here:

Cheb Nasro

Rai Royalty


Nasro is among the royalty of Algerian rai singers. He's hugely popular in Algeria and Morocco and among expat Maghrebis. Nasro was living in the Bay Area for some time. The most notable show I did with him was at the Kennel Club in SF on Valentine's Day 1999. That show (at which these photos were taken) also featured the rai diva Chaba Zahouania.


Find Cheb Nasro here:
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The Connect Four
John Moremen / Mark Robinson

Power Pop Explosion!


THE CONNECT FOUR was a sweet little pop outfit comprised of (L-R) John Moremen (guit, vox), Dave Revelli (drums), Mark Robinson (guit, vox), & me (bass, vox). We popped around the Bay Area for a good year and a half (1994-95). Did a couple acoustic gigs without Dave as The Connect Three.

bam_balam We even had a track appear on this fab Spanish Power-Pop compilation. At last check, Amazon had a copy of the CD for $40.
Or you can listen to "I've Been Everywhere" by the Connect Four here:

JOHN MOREMEN. After the Connect Four disconnected, I did some recording with John (his "Punch Me In" album), and became part of his next band with Chris Xefos (bass, vox), Jeff Potts (drums) and me (acoustic guitar, vox). We banged out an EP ("...And The Sun Shines") and a few other songs that appeared on compilations, and gigged at Bottom of the Hill, Hotel Utah, and Slims between 1996 and 1998.


Listen to "Through The Tide" by John Moremen, from the CD "Punch Me In":


Listen to "Fast As I Run" by John Moremen, from the CD "...and the sun shines":

Find John Moremen here:
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HAPPENSTANCE was a fab pop combo featuring Mark Robinson (guitar, vox), Kerry Rose (drums), & me (bass, vox). From 1997 'til Mark moved to LA in 1998, we played Mark's insanely catchy original songs (and some groovy Paul Williams covers, baby!)

happenstance Listen to "Separateness" by Happenstance. (love it - i'm singing backup, playing bass & 2 clarinets, and whistling!):

Pharoah Sanders & Yassir Chadly

A deep well of feeling and spirit


Before and after the Marhaba band was (almost) a band, I continued performing with Yassir Chadly. I joined him on some jazz gigs with the legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, notably at Davies Symphony Hall, for the San Francisco Jazz Festival in October 1992, for a week at Yoshi's in Oakland, March 1993, and for a fantastic series of performaces accompanying Alonzo King's Lines Ballet (1994 and 2002).


Gamelan Sari Raras

Central Javanese Gamelan at UC Berkeley


I put in several years on bonang panerus and Javanese singing with UC Berkeley's long-running ensemble Sari Raras, working under Ben Brinner, Santosa, and Midiyanto. Mind- and time-expanding!

Find Gamelan Sari Raras here:
ucb_music fb

(Not) Memory Green

Late '80s Berkeley Jangle


Sat in on bass when I could with this gang of friends and roommates. Though the band itself imploded, members Buddy Woodward, Gregarious Cline and Elena Powell have each continued with green musical pursuits. Fave moment: parading from the back room of the Albion, thru the bar, out on to 16th St. and back inside, singing the a capella portion of the Doobie Brothers' "Black Water".

Buddy Woodward
Gregarious Cline
Elena Powell

photo by Shaun Roberts

' ' 'chatter