Guest sets w avant-cello superstar Crystal Pascucci @Viracocha, SF (Wed 17 Apr, 4pm & 5pm)


I’m honored to host one of the Bay Area’s most talented avant / classical cello stars, Crystal Pascucci, for two special acoustic sets at 4pm and 5pm, Wed 17 Apr during my regular booking at Viracocha (NW corner of 21st & Valencia, San Francisco).

Crystal Pascucci, cellist/composer/improviser, is a high-impact émigrée to the Bay Area scene; before relocating from the East Coast, she worked passionately in new music ensembles and studied under improvising masters, Robert Black of the Bang On a Can All-Stars and Anthony Braxton. Her current personal projects, Opera Wolf and Wild Hen, are both small improvising ensembles. Opera Wolf is a free improv trio of tenor sax, amplified cello and drum set, and performs text-based and graphic scores. Wild Hen is a quartet of clarinet, cello, vibes and drum set, which plays loosely composed material with free improvisation.

Crystal Pascucci

Crystal’s approach to improvisation and composition are influenced greatly by her training in chamber music. Her music utilizes delicate communication amongst musicians in order to facilitate response and expression. She recently performed the works of Roscoe Mitchell at Yoshi’s Jazz Club, participated in the 2012 Outsound Summit Festival and has presented her solo set at several Bay Area music series. She performs regularly with Lisa Mezzacappa’s String Band and Oakland Active Orchestra, which performed at the 2013 SF Switchboard Festival, and she is my band-mate in Aaron Bennett’s Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra. More info @:

Crystal Pascucci performing in the Vexations (Re-vex'd) 2013 improv marathon at Berkeley Arts Festival

Crystal will be doing some fantastic cello solo pieces, ranging from classical to avant to avant classical:

Johann Sebastian Bach - Colossus of counterpoint

J.S. Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suite V, Prélude & Allemande

György Ligeti, composer of Poème Symphonique for 100 Metronomes, with some friends

György Ligeti: Sonata for Solo Cello

— plus solo improvisations

Also in the sets will be compositions for improvisers from the œuvre of two Bay Area masters from the ROVA Saxophone Quartet:

Steve Adams

#39 by Steve Adams

Larry Ochs & friend

Failure by Larry Ochs.

Joe Lasqo @ Meridian Gallery, 11 Jan 2012 (Photo:,

It will be my privilege to join Crystal for duets on these great pieces by Steve and Larry.

Before and after these special sets, I’ll do pieces from my usual Viracocha repertoire of modern jazz, Indian / Asian musics reconfigured for the piano, and sparely avant improv.

Viracocha is a unique polyvalent zone spread over several levels at the NW corner of 21st & Valencia, San Francisco, that functions as post-modern antique shop, piano lounge / performance space, lending library, gallery, and all-purpose cultural node. It has been my pleasure and honor to play there weekly for the last 2½ years. (Here’s a lovely article on Viracocha with a picture of me playing from the back)

Warmly hope to see you at this special show!


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