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:

Friday, August 1 2014 7:30 PM
Community Music Center [544 Capp Street SF]
13th Annual Outsound New Music Summit
Constructions a night that bring two extremes together
Teddy Rankin-Parker/Daniel Pearce Duo
The Deconstruction Orchestra
Josh Allen, conductor, composer and tenor saxophone
Saxophones: Aaron Bennett-alto, Sam Flores-tenor, John Ingle-baritone, Matt Ingalls-alto/clarient, Josh Marshall-tenor, Dan Plonsey-baritone, Dave Slusser-tenor, Vinny Golia-soprano/tenor, Rent Romus-alto, Cory Wright-baritone
Brass: Peter Bonos-trpt, Collete McCaslin-coronet, Matt Gaspari-Flugel, Ron Heglin-tuba, Jeff Hobbs-trpt, George Moore -trpt, Matt Streich-trombone
Rhythm: Henry Kaiser-guitar, John Finkbeiner-guitar Timothy Orr-drums, William Winant-drums, Lisa Mezzacappa-bass, Jason Hoopes-bass
Advance Tickets @ Brownpapertickets  More...
Sunday, August 3 2014 8:30 PM
Temescal Arts Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
This event will be the first of a series of performances curated throughout August and September by TAC's 510 Resident Artist Robert Lopez

Mezzacappa/Lopez Duo is a pairing of improvisers which explore the terrain between propulsive intensity and textural fervor. The two initially performed together as a part of a large improvised ensemble conducted by Philip Greenleaf. Since then they have come to know each others voices by using specific improv strategies as well as by venturing into completely uncharted territory.

The Broken-Trap Ensemble—which features Teddy Rankin-Parker, Kristina Dutton, Aram Shelton, and Daniel Pearce—explores the group dynamic through the use of strings, reeds, and percussion, employing traditional and experimental techniques. The quartet creates a latticework of sounds whose origins are slyly dissembled, with one instrument reflecting the timbre and texture of another as the group burrows into a singular sound.  More...
Thursday, August 7 2014 9:30 PM
Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Lisa Mezzacappa'S INTERLOPERS (Pascucci - Campbell - Perkis - Mezzacappa - Finkbeiner)+ special guest Kaethe Hostetter + THE HOLLY MARTINS
adventurous improvisation meets irreverent chamber music in a concert featuring two iconoclastic local alt-jazz ensembles  More...
Friday, August 8 2014 6:45 PM
California Shakespeare Theater [Main Grove, Bruns Amphitheater 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way Orinda, CA 94563]
This summer, the Center for New Music partners with Cal Shakes’ The Triangle Lab to present three special concerts at Fridays in the Grove: performances by the Bay Area’s best poets, musicians, comics, and more. The show will feature Les Gwan Jupons performing vintage party music from the French, Spanish and English-speaking Caribbean.  More...
Wednesday, August 13 2014 8:00 PM
Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
This will be the first time multi-instrumentalist Jessica Lurie and pianist Thollem McDonas meet in person, on stage, in sound. These two extraordinarily eclectic world traveling vanguard musicians will present spontaneous respirations between the known and the unknown. In the second set the quartet of Jessica, Thollem, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa and drummer/percussionist Spirit will take it further.  More...
Saturday, August 16 2014 7:30 PM
Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
The music of Oakland-based reed player and composer Cory Wright encompasses an astonishingly broad range of sounds anyone would call jazz - fiery swing, beautifully intricate horn writing, and a sensitivity to both fun and brainy ways of driving the music foreword with collective improvisation, asymmetric grooves and dazzlingly virtuosic soloing. At times playfully irreverent and at others lovingly sympathetic to jazz traditions past and present, Wright’s music also embraces texture and abstraction and formal experimentation, and he is truly an innovator in creating novel ways for improvising musicians to interact in the moment. Among the Bay Area’s first-call musicians on saxophones and clarinets, here Wright is joined by his stellar ensemble, performing selections from his latest release “Apples and Oranges” and new compositions for duo, trio and quintet configurations.  More...
Monday, September 8 2014 7:30 PM
Tom's Place [3111 Deakin Street Berkeley]
Improvised music by Lisa Mezzacappa, with a visiting special guest and a cast of local improvisers.  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: