Born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, Kim studied classical music from the young age of six and was “turned out” when she was hand selected by George Clinton to join his P-Funk All-stars. Here she began the stretch from holistic vegan yoga teacher to Funkadelic Rock star to VH1 Celebreality Star. Kim has performed around the world and on TV and has been profiled in such Magazines as “Singer”, “Relix”, “Details”and “Hightimes” . With a strong belief that “everybody’s got a little dark, especially those with lot’s of light”, Kim began to hone in her message of tolerance and acceptance while simultaneously merging her diverse musical background into a collage of Rock, Funk, and Hip-Hop. Kim wails with 4 ½ octaves of powerhouse vocals, free styled raps, keyboard and guitar skills, and no holds bar- anything can happen performance.
Described as “soulful, genuine, and edgy” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and an “indie folk powerhouse” by Bend’s Source Weekly, Valerie Orth is a fearless and genre-bending songwriter. Her distinctive hybrid of rock, groove, soul, and folk reaches out and grabs your attention; her live performances captivate and charm at once. Valerie understands song as revolution, whether personal or political, and as evolution, creating change within herself and the possibility for it within her listeners. Her calls to action, for compassion, or to a distant lover in a faraway city, are all voiced with equal clarity and conviction. Valerie is a founding member of WomenROCK.
Bernadette is an anomaly in the local San Francisco music scene. In 4 years of activity she has played The Fillmore, Great American Music Hall, The Independent, Yoshi’s and many more. Her sound is described as “soulful angst – Bonnie Raitt meets Courtney Love. Bernadette is known for her big heart and epic live shows featuring notable musicians such as Garrin Benfield, Jon Krimstock (Lauren Hill), Dave Brogan (ALO), Lady Chi, Ronkat Spearman (P-Funk, Katdelic) to name a few, and always has a surprise up her sleeve. She defies the music industry without a record, label or any of the standard tools that most rock stars have – she is doing it her way and is going a long way! Bernadette is the visionary and one of the founding members of WomenROCK.
Born & raised in Israel, Ziva moved to San Francisco in 2007 to further pursue her songwriting and performing career. With a background in classical music, jazz and funk – she references all that and more in her music, and writes songs that widely range in style. Her enthralling voice soars through a room, captivating her audience with a pop-rock sensibility and soulful depth. Her music possess theatrical elements, exotic rhythms, and a healthy dose of instrumental dynamics.
San Francisco’s freshest soul sister, Pamela Parker serves up a blend of juicy, bluesy, soulful, funky music and sets out to deeply touch her audience with songs about life, love, and creating positive changes in the world. Pamela began touring about 9 years ago as front woman and musical director of East Coast sensation Roots A’Risin’ with whom she released two albums. In addition to her music career, she has also been working for many years as an engineer and producer, producing other people’s records as well as her own. She currently works at one of San Francisco’s legendary studios – Hyde Street Studios.
Nkechi has creatively expressed herself in many ways over time, as a fashion model, to the face in commercials, to lead roles in film. She now dedicates most of her time to focus on her music career. An alternative acoustic soul singer/songwriter whose evocative voice, lyrics, and melodies explore a wide range of musical territory, including indie alternative pop, folk, world, & soul all in her signature sound and style – she performs as a solo musical artist, a live vocalist with djs, a live emcee/host and as lead vocalist/songwriter of her self-titled band NKECHI LIVE! A Full Tilt Jam Band Experience.
Zarah Gamaldi (Making Dinner)
Founding member of WR, Zarah plays drums in the band “Making Dinner” – an all-female San Francisco favorite that has been labeled indie, folk, and pop. “Making Dinner takes over the stage the way the smell of cookies baking takes over a kitchen.” Aside from rocking out with MD, Zarah operates a band merchandise business – rockOUTpress.
A new addition to the singer/songwriter scene in San Francisco, Whitney previously worked and performed in NYC. She just finished recording her debut album with producer Adam Rossi of Luce, which is due out in January 2011. The new record follows up her 5-song EP, Will It Grow, released earlier this year. Her sound combines the storytelling lyrics and powerful melodies to create an enjoyable fusion of pop-rock and indie-soul.
Learning piano at age four, composing music at age thirteen, and recording her first EP in her living room at age fifteen, Debbie Neigher has been crafting music on her own terms for as long as she can remember. Her unabashed blend of rock, jazz and pop is a refreshing surge of originality, combining unapologetically loud piano riffs with silky vocals. A New Jersey native, Debbie recently relocated to San Francisco and works full-time as the Art Program Counselor of Larkin Street Youth Services – where she teaches piano and voice lessons, creative writing, and film production.
Bonnie Hayes has written songs for artists as diverse as Adam Ant, Cher, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray and Booker T. and the MG’s. She has recorded five albums of her own, and currently works as a songwriter/producer at Icehouse Studios in the San Rafael. Bonnie is a popular and experienced teacher with an original slant on writing songs that satisfy both artistic and commercial criteria. She teaches classes in various aspects of songwriting and popular music regularly – West Coast Songwriters /Blue Bear / Songwriting Social
Armed with an acoustic guitar and an irreverent heart, singer-songwriter Heather Combs is not afraid of the stage. She is fiery, funny, intense and not afraid to take risks. Throughout the past 5 years she has been named “Best Band in the Bay” twice by San Francisco Magazine, been a finalist and winner in both the USA Songwriting Contest and John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and been a KFOG featured local artist. Heather has opened for Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett, Joan Osborne and Tom Petty to name a few. She is a powerhouse on stage and thrives on connecting with the audience.
Hailing from Santa Rosa, CA, Ash Scheiding has been writing and performing music for twelve years. In that time she has performed solo, and has also fronted many notable music projects including Escape Engine/Fight Like Fight, Bad Kissers, and No More Stereo. Her trademark songwriting and vocal approach- a combination of rock with pop sensibilities, with abundant hooks and harmony – have earned her a respectable reputation in the North Bay indie rock scene. Ash currently fronts the San Francisco indie rock/pop group Kindness and Lies.
Drummer for London Street and Four Year Bender, Daria holds a degree from Berklee College of Music. Aside from being a dedicated drummer for both these bands, Daria is also a ‘hired gun’ and a passionate drums teacher. She divides her time between LA and San Francisco.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Melissa grew up playing piano and guitar and discovered songwriting in high school. Melissa’s live stage presence is spellbinding, and has led her to showcase at Austin’s South-by-Southwest festival for the past two years, as well as headline such events as San Francisco’s Union Street Festival and the Solano County Fair (opening for Gladys Knight). She’s shared the stage with national acts such as Chuck Prophet, Sara Bareilles, and Josh Ritter and been featured on San Francisco’s top tastemaker radio stations, including KFOG 104.5 and KUSF 90.3.
Formerly of punk trio Sistas in the Pit, the talented guitarist and singer-songwriter gave up her wah-wah, smallstone and rat pedals for greater things. With her former Sistas she toured China and Europe, and took an infamous national tour supporting a certain James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg and the Stooges during that band’s reunion in 2007. She claims to have “traded in her Marshall half stack and Epiphone semi hollow body casino for a microphone and an Epiphone acoustic guitar,” yet she’s got the rock in her blood. With Anita’s new minimal and acoustic approach she expresses a new direction in songwriting that is as candid, earnest, cool and assertive while seeking greater understanding of others and cloaking sentiment in attitude.
“Bringing pop worthy hooks together with alt rock instrumentation and smoky production, Push and Pull, Aoede’s latest release (May 2008), stays with you long after the first listen…demanding more spins and closer attention…an unforgettable emotional listening experience…” (Massive Music). Aoede’s song “I Lost, You Win” off that album, was recently certified by The International Association of Independent Recording Artists, IAIRA, charting as an International “Top 15!” on 08/19/10! Aoede was crowned Womens Radio’s Artist of the Year 2008, and Push and Pull-Aoede’s 2008 release-was included in Womens Radio’s Top Albums of the Decade. Aoede’s songs have been featured on American Airlines, compilation cds and radio stations nationwide.
“Slankard’s vocal style is so distinctive that simply naming influences doesn’t do it justice. Her vocal melodies are immediately arresting, she uses hip-hop phrasing and whisper-to-roar dynamics like a pro, and she never lets her impeccable technique eclipse the emotion she pours into her performances.” Megan has independently sold over 22,000 CDs while performing in 100s of cities across the United States and Europe. She self-produced her first CD at age eighteen, and is currently hard at work finishing up her fourth CD with help from David Bryson (Counting Crows) and Jerry Becker (Pat Monahan). The new release is an edgy alt-rock record, brimming with stories told from unique perspectives, and is scheduled to be released very soon.
Vanessa started playing guitar at the age of 20. Now, she’s been writing and playing songs for about ten years – living and performing in Massachusetts, Indiana and now in San Francisco, California where she’s been for the last 7 years. She has toured all over the country, but still loves playing at Simple Pleasures Cafe (two blocks from her house) most of all. When she’s not playing music, Vanessa teaches yoga and cares for magical children. Vanessa has recorded three full length c.d.s: Until It So Desires (1999), Wherever My Feet Are Planted (2001), and I Don’t Know If You Know (2005).
Grace Woods is a self-titled band that plays original wistful piano pop rock. If you like Sarah Bareilles, Ben Folds Five, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, My Brightest Diamond, St. Vincent, Imogen Heap or Feist, you will love this music! Grace seeks to tell other people’s stories through her stories; to create big emotion through little examples. Honest lyrics and strong, clear vocals make the listener feel more alive. Mildly syncopated voicings and undulations between upbeat chords and dark metaphors keep listeners on their toes.
A force on the stage with her trademark black custom telecaster and eccentric humor, Audrey Howard delivers a show that mesmerizes. Audrey’s stage presence is natural and electrifying, and her rock tunes are undeniably catchy. A long-time student of jazz and rock, Audrey’s guitar playing rivals that of her idols – Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page. Her liquid voice envelopes you as she invites you into her world of love’s frustrations and the refusal to toe the line.
Marianne Barlow’s music speaks of beauty and depth. She weaves haunting emotional and personal lyrics with strong melodies and rhythms to create some real gems. She started playing guitar at Girl Scout Camp and started writing songs shortly after. Marianne recently released her first full length studio album, titled “Magic Words”.
Dana grew up in Philly and New York. She studied music and romance languages (Spanish & Italian) at NYU, and started writing songs in college. She moved out to San Francisco 5 years ago and performs all over the city. Her EP, “The Difference”, is available for purchase on her website and at live shows.
Born in San Francisco, Essence’s parents were quintessential flower children of the Haight Ashbury culture. Essence studied theater at the American Conservatory and Speech Communications and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. Essence has released 3 albums to date (“Conception” – 1997 / “Mariposa” – 2002 / “Feels Like the Future” – 2009) – all received critical acclaim and many song placements. In her decade long span as a recording artist, she has sold thousands of CDs and performed in some of the nation’s most prestigious venues, ranging from New York’s Bowery Ballroom to San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore auditorium. She shared bills with Tom Petty, Jason Mraz, Shawn Calvin, Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco, and Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes.
Jessie Woletz – the woman behind the Seaweed Sway & grassroots music promotion in the Bay Area. The Seaweed Sway is an evolving project with an intention to encourage, cultivate & support community through music, yoga, & nature events. Both it and Woletz have, in a very short period of time, become pillars of the San Francisco music scene. Jessie does this community work out of the love of music and how it can bring people together. Her shows often include community-building elements like pre-show picnics, interactive games and potlucks. The Seaweed Sway presents a showcase of mostly local music at the Make-Out Room every third Sunday of the month.
Gabby La La knew she wanted to be a musician and performer since she was five years old. After learning piano for several years, Gabby picked up the accordion, guitar, and then settled on the sitar. She studied North Indian Classical Music at the Ali Akbar College of Indian Music for 4 years and then continued her training at The California Institute of the Arts where she received a BFA in Sitar Performance. Her style has been described as “Kooky and Spooky”, “Experimental”, and “Unusual” but no matter what you call it, La La’s music will always bring a smile to your face. Gabby’s first album “Be Careful What You Wish For…” was released in 2005 on Les Claypool’s Prawn Song Records. She has performed with Les Claypool, Buckethead, Bernie Worrell, Rat Dog, P Funk, Snoop Dogg, Weapon of Choice, Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra, The Benevento Russo Duo, and J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science, to name a few.
Cristina Espinosa, front-woman of The Heated is anxious. She has always been anxious. The best way she has found to ward off these synaptic misfires is through the repetitious nature of music. For her, music is not a hobby. It’s a coping mechanism. The Heated’s endearing lo-fi yet accomplished indie folk manages to surprise. One bar breaks thrown into the center of songs, off-kilter rhythms and unexpected melodies dot the musical landscape. They pull you in, these little surprises.
Andrea Shippy has played sax and sang with the band “CONSORCIO” for the past year at venues from the Sweetwater in Mill Valley to the CASTRO STREET FAIR in San Francisco. Andrea’s Sugar Combos are professional ensembles with the goal of satisfying all your musical needs. Look for the album “I Wish You Well” on iTunes and CD Baby.
Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Alice Tong currently resides in Oakland. Her piano, guitar, ukulele, and harmonica playing are influenced by indie folk rock, jazz, and alt country, while her rich vocals are inspired by jazz, soul, and blues. Alice has studied both Ethnomusicology and Social Work, and the results can be heard in the depth of her lyrics, soulfulness of her performances, and the genre-crossing nature of her songwriting. Alice’s music has also been featured in independent films and she has performed in venues throughout the United States and internationally.
Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)
Singer-Songwriter-Poet Lisa B, blends jazz, pop, hip-hop, soul, and spoken word. Her 4 albums each received excellent reviews in All Music Guide and elsewhere. Solo or with her band, she has played extensively around the Bay Area and also took part in Harmony Festival. She wrote the poetry books The Transparent Body (Wesleyan University Press) and Anorexia (Five Fingers) and her poems have appeared in 60+ anthologies/periodicals. Emeryville’s 2010-2012 alternate Poet Laureate, Lisa B, has won creative writing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Headlands Center for the Arts. “Funky, fresh and sexy as all hell…one of the most daring and deft performers I’ve come across in a while.” – Blogcritics.com