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:

Monday, September 8 2014 7:30 PM
Tom's Place [3111 Deakin Street Berkeley]
MAXXI UNICORNI: Improvised quartet music by visiting Italian stars Piero Bittolo Bon (alto saxophone, feedback sax) and Marta Raviglia (voice), with local Italian-Americans Gino Robair (percussion, electronics) and Lisa Mezzacappa (acoustic bass).  More...
Tuesday, September 9 2014 9:00 PM
Uptown Nightclub [1928 Telegraph Ave Oakland]
Active Music Series presents Ornettology + Ze Bib! + Alex Christie

Ornettology is the brainchild of guitarist Myles Boisen, presenting unique arrangements of compositions by Ornette Coleman utilizing free ranging jazz landscapes, funky grooves, and harmolodic improvisation. With Steve Adams, Phillip Greenlief, John Finkbeiner, John Hanes, Chris Grady, Lisa Mezzacappa.

Ze Bib! is cellist/electronic musician Shanna Sordahl and percussionist Robert Lopez. Their music grapples with the spastic intensity arising from their explorations into sound worlds including noise, free improvisation, avant garde rock, and heavy drone.

Alex Christie’s work is the hybridization of hyper-intellectualized contemporary music theory and a childish obsession with explosive sound and bright, flashing lights. He performs as a laptopist and saxophonist in several veins of music, ranging from experimental improvisatory noise to electronic dance and freely improvised music.

Active Music Series - Second Tuesdays at the Uptown. Music at 9. Donations accepted.  More...
Thursday, September 11 2014 9:00 PM
Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
BODABODA + Klaxon Mutant Allstars: freewheeling original jazz from Italy and CA

Piero Bittolo Bon (IT) - saxophones
Marta Raviglia (IT) - voice
John Finkbeiner - guitar
Lisa Mezzacappa - acoustic bass
Jason Levis (DE/US) - drums

Klaxon Mutant Allstars
Henry Hung - trumpet and effects
Eric Garland - drums
Kasey Knudsen - sax and effects
Colin Hogan - keyboards and melodica
Sam Bevan - bass  More...
Friday, September 12 2014 8:00 PM
Artists' Television Access [992 Valencia SF]
MISSION EYE & EAR #6: New music/sound + film/video collaborations by:
Crystal Pascucci + Isabelle Harada
Zachary James Watkins + Rosario Sotelo
Lisa Mezzacappa + Janis Crystal Lipzin

with film scores performed live by the Eyes’nEars House Band:
Marta Raviglia (IT), voice
Steve Adams, winds
Piero Bittolo Bon (IT), reeds
Crystal Pascucci, cello
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Suki O'Kane, percussion  More...
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:00 PM
Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue, between Shattuck & Oxford, walking distance from downtown Berkeley BART]
Taylor Ho Bynum - bicycle tour! 8 pm Goggle Saxophone Quartet: Chris Jonas - soprano saxophone; Randy McKean - alto saxophone; Cory Wright - tenor saxophone; Dan Plonsey - baritone saxophone 9 pm Taylor Ho Bynum Conducts OrcheSperry: ela polak - violin; Christina Stanley - violin; shanna sordahl - cello; Lisa Mezzacappa - bass; John Shiurba - guitar; pete fitzpatrick - guitar; Rachel Condry - Bb clarinet; Cory Wright - bass clarinet; Phillip Greenlief - alto saxophone; Jon Raskin - baritone saxophone; clifford childers - trombone; Tim Perkis - electronics; Gino Robair - percussion  More...
Wednesday, September 17 2014 9:00 PM
Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
Taylor Ho Bynum/James Fei Quartet Plays Braxton  More...
Thursday, September 18 2014 9:00 PM
Duende [468 19th Street Oakland]
Bruce Ackley Trio and Quartet - The Forest and the Zoo: A Celebration of the Music of Steve Lacy  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: