THE BETH CUSTER ENSEMBLE is a veritable crème de la crème of Bay Area musicians including Jan Jackson on drums, (Will Bernard’s Motherbug, Black Pole), guitarist/vocalist David James (AfroFunk Experience, The Coup, Spearhead), Chris Grady on trumpet (Tom Waits, Grassy Knoll, Jewel), Vicky Grossi on bass (Mitch Marcus, Bitches Brew), vocalist Diana Mangano (Jefferson Airplane) and Beth Custer, clarinets/vocal (Club Foot Orchestra, Trance Mission, Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing).
Special guests include Alan Williams on trombone, singers Daria Johnson and Skate Stone.
Recent projects include a commission by San Francisco Cinematheque to compose and perform live scores Alexandre Hammid’s films at SF MOMA; performing live for The Joe Goode Performance Group’s dance/theatre productions at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; premiering new work at Davies Symphony Halls After Hours Series; performing a CD release party and on the Go Left Festival at Yoshi’s. The Beth Custer Enesemble delights audiences with a wide ranging repertoire in the US and abroad.
With three CDs and one DVD released (Roam, Respect as a Religion, Dona Luz 30 Besos, My Grandmother) BCE has a solid and varied repertoire of songs and instrumentals by Custer and a few by bandmate David James. A set might include a funky political song followed by a lilting country waltz, then an Afro-fusion odd-metered driving instrumental.