Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community


Lisa Mezzacappa

double bassist, improviser, composer
Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, composer, and musical instigator. An active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch, Nightshade, the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio and the Tangle Trio, and co-leads the ensembles duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her music on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, NotTwo, Evander, Odd Shaped Case and Edgetone record labels, and has recorded as a sideperson for the Tzadik, Kadima and Porto Franco labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art.

As curator, she programs the annual JazzPOP concert seres at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, now in its 9th year; and a live cinema series, Mission Eye and Ear, at Artists' Television Access. She founded the Monday Makeout creative music series in the Mission District of San Francisco, and programs the Best Coast Jazz Composers series as a member of the artistic committee San Francisco's Center for New Music. In 2012 she started the "Festival-of-Us," an annual festival celebrating Bay Area creative jazz and improvised music. Recent projects include an avant-folk string band, the Interlopers; Eartheaters, a trio with Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor; and BODABODA, a cross-planetary collaboration with Venice reed player/composer Piero Bittolo Bon.

Lisa has been artist-in-residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2008, 2013), Headlands Center for the Arts (2006), the Banff International Jazz Workshop (2000), and the Painted Bride Arts Center (2000). She holds an MA in ethnomusicology 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; the Montreal Jazz Festival, Canada; the Monterey Jazz Festival, CA and the Novara Jazz Festival, Italy.

Lisa has been awarded grants by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, American Composers Forum, the City of Oakland, Meet the Composer and Southern Exposure/the Andy Warhol Foundation. She performs as a sideperson in original jazz, improv and chamber ensembles led by bandleaders such as Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Randy McKean, Marco Eneidi, Vijay Anderson, Aaron Bennett, Steve Adams, Graham Connah, Cory Wright and Ross Hammond, and collaborates often with Darren Johnston, Vinny Golia, Katy Stephan, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, Murray Campbell, Jason Levis, Dina Maccabee, Noah Phillips, Rob Ewing, Kasey Knudsen, Michael Coleman, Myles Boisen, Sam Ospovat, John Hanes, and many many others.
Contact information:
Email: info (AT) lisamezzacappa (DOT) com
Upcoming Events:

Saturday, October 25 2014 8:00 PM
Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]

Steve Adams - alto saxophone
Myles Boisen - guitar
John Finkbeiner - guitar
Phillip Greenlief - tenor saxophone
John Hanes - drums
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Lisa Mezzacappa - bass  More...
Sunday, October 26 2014 3:00 PM
Community Music Center [544 Capp Street SF]
******Matinee Show******
San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music & Outsound Presents
The Other World Cycle - visions of the Kalevala land of my grandmothers
A new music odyssey inspired by the ethos of Finnish cultural mythology
featuring The Life's Blood Ensemble:
Ron Heglin•Voice Heikki Koskinen•Recorder, E-trumpet, Kantele Bob Marsh•Voice Lisa Mezzacappa•Bass Bill Noertker•Bass Suki O'Kane•Percussion Timothy Orr•Drums Crystal Pascucci•Cello Mark Pino•Percussion Mika Pontecorvo•Flutes Rent Romus•Saxophones, Kantele, Flutes, Bells Shanna Sordahl•Cello

Buy tickets for The Other World Cycle - visions of the Kalevala  More...
Friday, November 7 2014 8:00 PM
California Jazz Conservatory [2087 Addison Street Berkeley]
Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait & Switch premieres avantNOIR, new music for jazz quartet inspired by the crime fiction of Dashiell Hammett and Paul Auster
Aaron Bennett, tenor saxophone
John Finkbeiner, electric guitar
Lisa Mezzacappa, acoustic bass
Jordan Glenn, drums
with special guests! William Winant, percussion + Tim Perkis, electronics  More...
Wednesday, November 12 2014 7:00 PM
Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Friendly Galaxies - An Evening of Celebrating Sun Ra at 100

— Set 1: Reconnaissance Fly (Amanda Chaudhary: keyboard/electronics; Rich Lesnik: reeds; Polly Moller: voice, flutes, guitar; Larry the O: drums, and Tim Walters: bass/electronics) perform a mixture of Sun Ra tunes & originals

— Set 2: Techno-griots Electropoetic Coffee (poet NSAA + guitarist Ross Hammond) continue and extend Sun Ra's tradition of Afro-Futurist poetry+music madness

— Set 3: UBU RA BIG BAND, assembled from the luminous gas remnants of the Beanbenders supernova & other far corners of the universe, travels through the sonic space of Sun Ra's repertoire, w video by Warren Stringer. Line-up: Steve Adams, Aaron Bennett, Myles Boisen, Phillip Greenlief, John Hanes, Joe Lasqo, Lisa Mezzacappa, Dan Plonsey, Jon Raskin, David Slusser. Space songtresses: Barbara Golden & Kattt Atchley. Astro-Terspichorean dancers: Evangel King & Nan Busse  More...
Lisa Mezzacappa's Bait & Switch - Live
Lisa Mezzacappa's Eartheaters - Live at YBCA
Lisa Mezzacappa & Nightshade - Live
Lisa Mezzacappa's Interlopers My Companion by the Shaggs, arranged by Lisa Mezzacappa Live at the Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco CA Murray Campbell, violin John Finkbeiner, guitar Crystal Pascucci, cello Lisa Mezzacappa, bass Jordan Glenn, percussion
Lisa Mezzacappa's Interlopers The Aquarist by Lisa Mezzacappa Live at the Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco CA Murray Campbell, violin John Finkbeiner, guitar Crystal Pascucci, cello Lisa Mezzacappa, bass Jordan Glenn, percussion
CDs on which Lisa Mezzacappa appears:
Kipple Flashes of Irrational Happiness
Artist: Kipple
Title: Flashes of Irrational Happiness
Label: Evander Music EM 032
Label page on this site: Evander Music
Evander Music EM 032
duo b these things seem natural to us
Artist: duo b
Title: these things seem natural to us
Label: Evander Music Em 048
Label page on this site: Evander Music
Evander Music Em 048
Andrew Gilbert (07/18/2011)
Article about Lisa Mezzacappa in Chronicle SFGate
Audio Samples: