7:30pm Shen-Wen Duo
Sophia Shen - pipa
Gabby Wen - guqin
8:30pm Noertker's Moxie
Annelise Zamula - alto sax, flute
Masaru Koga - tenor sax, flute
Bill Noertker - contrabass
Jason Levis - drums
Born in Zhangzhou, a small city in southeast China, Sophia Shen is a composer, sound artist, pipa performer/ improviser and pianist who believes in the subjective, evocative, conceptual and ineffable nature of music and sound. She makes intangible connections with performers and listeners by creating music that evokes memory and imagination. She is interested in bridging the divide between cultures by using instruments to dissemble and synthesize new sounds.
Sophia is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College where she also studied composition and improvisation. She received a BA degree in Music with High Distinction and a BA degree in German from the University of Virginia.
Gabby Wen is a multi-instrumental improviser/composer and multimedia artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been working with guqin, bass guitar, synthesizers, computer, homemade electronics, and field recordings to create sounds. Originally from Shenzhen, China, she moved to the Bay Area at age of 14 and studied abroad in France during college, her artistic visions are shaped by a wide range of cultural perspectives. Inspired by her spiritual guidance in Tibetan Buddhism, her works are usually created in a meditative state and are improvisation-based. She explores the body-mind connection with her instruments during performances, as well as the ways of sound manipulation using extended techniques, codes, and hardware.
Bassist/composer Bill Noertker has been active in the Bay Area jazz and avant-garde scene since the late 1980s.
Since 2001, he has lead his own ensemble, Noertker's Moxie, as a forum for compositions inspired by visual artists such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró, architect Antoni Gaudí, poet Rainer Maria Rilke, sculptor David Beck, and others. Noertker has composed over 175 pieces of music for this group and has released eleven CDs, including three volumes of his extended suite Sketches of Catalonia, three volumes of his extended Blue Rider Suite, and two volumes of his druidh series.
He has also composed music for three films that showcase the intimately-scaled sculptures of David Beck, composed the score for a Nikos Koumoundouros film that screened at the Festival de Cannes 2010, and most recently scored the Olympia Stone film “Curious Worlds: the Art and Imagination of David Beck.”
Annelise Zamula started on flute at age 11 and picked up sax at 14 after falling in love with jazz. She studied classical flute with the late Wallace Mann of the National Symphony while in her teens. After moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, she studied flute with Matt Marvuglio.
Annelise has performed with numerous groups in the Bay Area, including the Riffrats, Moodswing Orchestra, Montclair Women’s Big Band, Connie Champagne and Her Tiny Bubbles, Carwash, The Strayhorns, Golden Gate Park Band, and more.
In 1996 she joined the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (BTMSQ) and toured the U.S. and Europe with the group, as well as recording a CD, Sunshine Bundtcake, which was released in March 2000. She has played live radio shows with BTMSQ and the After the End of the World Coretet, both in Europe and at the Bay Area’s own KPFA, KUSF, KALX, and KPOO. With BTMSQ, Ms. Zamula performed with the Indigo Girls on their West Coast tour of 1997, including a performance at the Lilith Fair in Vancouver; at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, and with the Pat Graney Dance Company.
She co-founded the After the End of the World Coretet and composed some of the songs released on the group’s two CDs, Quaternity and 13. Annelise currently performs with Big Lou's Dance Party, Noertker's Moxie, and the Berkeley Saxophone Quartet.
Award-winning, multi-instrumentalist, Masaru Koga considers himself a product of the Japanese corporate globalization movement of the 1970's. Born in Chiba, Japan, his childhood and teenage years were spent living in Japan, the U.S. and what was then West Germany. His current and longest place of residence has been the San Francisco Bay Area, where he has been a part of its musical community for the past 15+ years.
Having been raised in a music-loving family, Masaru grew up immersed in many different types of music. At a very young age, he took deep interest in jazz music, listening to legends like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, and Sadao Watanabe. His first musical endeavor was on the trumpet at age 11, and he later switched to the alto saxophone.
Masaru has a BA degree in Improvised Music Studies from San Jose State University in 1995, where he intensively studied and explored music traditions of different cultures around the world. He has traveled, recorded, and performed nationally with artists such as Hafez Modirzadeh, Francis Wong, Anthony Brown, Royal Hartigan, John Carlos Perea, Wayne Wallace, Kat Parra, and Fred Ho.
Masaru is also the director of SambAsia, an award-winning San Francisco-based community samba school, teaching and performing Brazilian drums.
In December 2010, Masaru received the "The Latin Jazz Corner Best Of 2010 Awards" in the "Latin Jazz Flautist Of The Year" category.
Masaru's goal is to create music that respects traditions and goes beyond styles and idioms, to ultimately help diminish all forms of social boundaries.
The music of composer, drummer, and percussionist Jason Levis lives in the rich spaces where styles intersect and musical languages merge. His career began playing guitar in a high school reggae band, and he has since broadened his artistic scope to include jazz, contemporary improvisation, and modern classical composition. His wide-ranging creative efforts are skillfully bound by his innate sense of timbre, sonic space, rhythmic force, and his insatiable interest in discovery. Over the years his passion and curiosity have led him to search out the intersections of musical paths less traveled, and the resulting unique perspective is reflected in his music. Levis holds a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Berkeley and is an Associate Professor at the California Jazz Conservatory. He is active as a performer and composer in the United States and Europe.