Photo: Heike Liss
Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based bassist, bandleader, composer, curator and producer. An active collaborator in the Bay Area music community for more than a dozen years, she leads her own groups Bait & Switch, the Interlopers, Nightshade, Eartheaters and the Lisa Mezzacappa Trio, and co-leads the ensembles BODABODA, duo B., Cylinder, the Mezzacappa-Phillips Duo, and the Caribbean folk band Les Gwan Jupons. Lisa has released her music on the Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, NotTwo, Evander, Odd Shaped Case and Edgetone record labels, and has recorded as a sideperson for the Tzadik, Kadima and Porto Franco labels. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, film/video, sculpture and public music/art.
As curator, she programs the annual JazzPOP concert seres at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, now in its 10th year; and a live cinema series, Mission Eye and Ear, at Artists' Television Access. She founded the Monday Makeout creative music series in the Mission District of San Francisco, and programs the Best Coast Jazz Composers series as a member of the artistic committee San Francisco's Center for New Music. In 2012 she started the "Festival-of-Us," a semi-annual festival celebrating Bay Area creative jazz and improvised music. Recent projects include an avant-folk string band, the Interlopers; Eartheaters, a trio with Brooklyn vocalist Fay Victor; and BODABODA, a cross-planetary collaboration with Venice reed player/composer Piero Bittolo Bon. In fall 2015 she premieres Glorious Ravage, a multi-media song cycle for large ensemble with commissioned films, inspired by the writings of Victorian lady adventurers.
Lisa has been artist-in-residence at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2008, 2013), Headlands Center for the Arts (2006, 2015), the Banff International Jazz Workshop (2000), and the Painted Bride Arts Center (2000). She holds an MA in ethnomusicology from UC Berkeley (2003), and a BA in music from the University of Virginia (1997). She has performed at countless Bay Area venues including Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, Yoshi’s, the Jazzschool, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco; as well as the Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle; the Montreal Jazz Festival and Victoriaville Festival de Musique Actuelle, Canada; the Monterey Jazz Festival, CA; Moers Festival, Germany; and Novara Jazz Festival, Italy.
Lisa has been awarded grants by the MAP Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, American Composers Forum, the City of Oakland, Meet the Composer and Southern Exposure/the Andy Warhol Foundation. She performs as a sideperson in original jazz, improv and chamber ensembles led by estemmed bandleaders and West Coast musical visionaries, like Phillip Greenlief, Aaron Novik, Beth Custer, Randy McKean, Marco Eneidi, Vijay Anderson, Aaron Bennett, Myles Boisen, Steve Adams, Graham Connah, Jon Raskin, Cory Wright and Ross Hammond, and collaborates often with Darren Johnston, Vinny Golia, Katy Stephan, Aram Shelton, Kjell Nordeson, Murray Campbell, Jason Levis, Dina Maccabee, Noah Phillips, Rob Ewing, Kasey Knudsen, Myles Boisen, Sam Ospovat, John Hanes, and many many others.