Charming: Big Band
The Ginzburg Geography is drawn from the life and work of Natalia and Leone Ginzburg, Italian Jews famous for anti-fascist resistance and intellectual brilliance. It is a sonic map focusing on where they lived together: Turin, Pizzoli, and Rome. Our map refers to specific physical locations, but also resonates with the actions and relationships associated with those places, allowing a sense-memory of places in time. Much of the information in our map comes from the Ginzburgs’ writing on place.
tThe map of The Ginzburg Geography is new and traditional music drawings from the Italian regions of Piemonte, Abruzzo and Rome; from Italian Jewish liturgy, the oldest and most remote in Europe; and from Italian anti-fascist songs–work chants and resistance anthems. This iteration of The Ginzburg Geography is in concert form. It will soon be presented as an immersive performance that maps not only the journeys of the Ginzburgs, but also those of visitor participants, creating a sonic forest of maps to walk among, listen to, and add to. ween text and the sounding body and The Bowls Project
continues this endeavor.
CDs for theTzadik label's Radical Jewish Culture series include The Bowls Project, on Babylonian women's amulets, Sarajevo
Blues, which sets Bosnian resistance poetry, and Trilectic,
a look at the political-erotic world of Walter Benjamin. The Tzadik CDs
are part of the Nerdy-Sexy-Commie-Girlie genre. Big band Hostess CDs include
Eat and Punch,
both part of the Klezmer/Punk-Balkan/Funk genre.
Charming Hostess: Jewlia Eisenberg,
Jason Ditzian, Marika Hughes, Cynthia Taylor, Laura Inserra and often Ganda Suthivarikom.
Read more about the Hostesses.
Jewlia Eisenberg is a composer, extended-technique
vocalist, lay cantor, and the founder of Charming Hostess. She is interested
in the particular emotional, erotic and spiritual terrains that the voice
can traverse. Her work explores the intersection of text and the sounding
body, pushing for translation strategies between verbal and non-verbal
languages. Collaborators include anarcholits Fantom Slobode, choreographer
Jo Kreiter and filmmaker Lynn Sachs. Commissioned work includes Harmonices
Mundi, an opera about Kepler’s mother, and Red Rosa, a song cycle
based on the letters of Rosa Luxemburg. She has been an Artist-in-Residence
at MIT and University of Denver; she has studied with sozanda Muna Nissimova,
Fred Frith and Daniel Boyarin. Hobbies include class war, knitting, and
smashing SUV windshields. Brooklyn born and bred, she now calls San Francisco
home. >> Complete CV
Jason Ditzian is a multi-wind instrumentalist/composer who performs on
single reeds, double reeds, flutes, and jaw harps. He has composed and
performed numerous works for dance, movie and theater, including an Isadora
Duncan Dance Award winning collaboration with butoh maestros Koichi and
Hiroko Tamano, and touring as co-composer/band leader for the Tony Award
winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. Jason is horn section leader for soul
Loves a Working Man; leader of klezmer ensemble, Kugelplex;
and clarinetist in the Georges Brassens cover band, Les
Croque-Notes. Upcoming projects include composing for Featherlead
productions play, The Breeze at Dawn (November 2007) at the Traveling
Jewish Theater and co-composer for The Misadventures of Flapjack, a new
series on the Cartoon Network (winter 2008). Jason has played and/or recorded
with folks such as Faun Fables, Kunst-Stoff Experimental Dance ensemble,
Myra Melford, Yuko Kaseki, and eXtreme Elvis. When he’s not tooting
on his clarinet, Jason can be found doing publicity for the San Francisco
Mime Troupe, working as a freelance writer, and importing beautiful bansuris
and harmoniums from India.
The life of Marika
Hughes has always been characterized by the seamless merging of disparate
worlds. Granddaughter of the legendary cellist Emmanuel Feuermann, Marika
began playing the violin when she was 3 and was soon seduced by the sonorous
sounds of the cello. She grew up playing classical music and listening
to jazz at Burgundy, a club her parents ran in NYC. Since earning a double
degree at Juilliard/Barnard College in cello performance and political
science, both pursuits have maintained an important role in her life.
After college, Marika moved to the Bay Area.
She has played with the Santa Rosa Symphony and Quartet San Francisco,
and has recorded for Tin Hat Trio, Santana and Mr. Bungle. She formed
the band Red Pocket (Tzadik) with Jewlia Eisenberg. Marika is best known
for her work with singer-songstress Vienna Teng (Rounder) and with the
fabulous 2 Foot Yard (Tzadik) where she creates her own niche as both
chamber-musician and bass-player.
Cynthia Taylor was raised in the foothills
of the Santa Cruz mountains at Garrod Farms Stables & the Cooper/Garrod
Vineyards where she learned from Mother Nature, while coaching & competing
in horse vaulting. She began music early-- from lullabies with her mother
to public school classical violin, choirs & musicals, and some fiddling
chops, to opera at SFSU. She holds a Creative Arts BA (Music Performance/Arts
Administration). She has performed in R&B, jazz, & techno rock bands locally
and in Germany and loves working with composers. She also performed for
a decade with the Oakland
Opera Theater and produced her own Lullaby
CD. As an arts administrator/educator she’s worked with SFJAZZ, Oasis
For Girls (executive director), UNESCO via ‘06 ZeroOne San Jose international
art & technology festival (education director). The program she curated
at YBCA, Young Artists at Work, won the Coming
Up Taller Award, from The President’s Committee on the Arts and the
Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Cynthia is currently
consulting in executive & organizational leadership with organizations
related to the arts, youth, race/gender/class, community activism and
For 8 years Charming Hostess was a rock band that blended eerie harmonies,
complex rhythms, and a playfulness about gender. Charming Hostess drew
on women's vocal traditions (primarily from Eastern Europe and North Africa),
and integrated them with American folk forms both white and black. Charming
Hostess was founded in the fertile anarchy of Barrington
Co-op, and nurtured by the West Oakland arts community, along with
other coeval bands such as Fibulator and Eskimo. Half of Charming Hostess
was also in Idiot Flesh/Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The final effect was
of a hoedown where bodacious babes belted the blues in Bugarian while
a punk-klezmer band rocked out in accompaniment.The genre of this incarnation
of ChoHo was KLEZMER-PUNK/BALKAN-FUNK. Recordings of Charming Hostess
Big Band include "Eat" (Vaccination,
1998) and the new "Punch" (ReR,
2005) Charming Hostess Big Band was: Jewlia Eisenberg (voice, direction),
Carla Kihlstedt (voice, fiddle), Nina Rolle (voice, accordion), Wes Anderson
(drums), Nils Frykdahl (guitar, flute, saxophone, percussion), and Dan
Rathbun (bass). Read more about the Hostesses.
Where can you find the dark underbelly of the Supremes? With Red
Pocket a bottom-heavy girl group where cello, bass, and drums
groove under sassy vocals. Red Pocket’s genre-bending tunes will
guarantee a soul-filled hoedown at the release party for their new CD,
Thick released on Tzadik!
Jewlia Eisenberg plays bass and sings. Experimental
vocal technique meets freak of the week. After years of leading avant-pop
girlcore extravaganza Charming Hostess, the songs she writes for Red Pocket
are filled with the joy of romance.
Marika Hughes plays cello and sings. Classically
trained, she now prefers to rock the low end: Her cello parts incorporate
lyrical melodies, funky bass riffs and rhythm guitar punch. Outside of
her work with Red Pocket, she plays with Two Foot Yard, Etienne De Rocher,
Scott Amendola is an amazing drummer who plays
with everyone (Nels Cline Singers, TJ Kirk, Scott Amendola Band) because
he is so damn good. Incorporating live electronics and hand percussion
with the genius of the great funky drummers, Scott holds the estrogen
in Red Pocket together.
>> See more about Red
All images on this page are courtesey Downtown
Music and were taken at the Bowery Poetry Club.