July 7 First Friday: John Ettinger, Bryon Ruth, Ted Sistrunk & Jacob Eary

7:30 – 10:30 PM

Free Admission

John Ettinger-violin, Bryon Ruth-saxophones, Ted Sistrunk-bass, Jacob Eary-drums

This band of old and new friends has been playing together about twice a year for the past four years whenever Ettinger is in town. The set list is growing from originals taken from Ettinger’s recordings and Sistrunk’s originals, to exploring off-the-beaten-path standards of many eras and genres.The set list might include music by Dave Holland, The Beatles, Joe Henderson, Michael Jackson, Jimmy Webb, Keith Jarrett, or Ornette Coleman.

Other current projects Ettinger is involved with include the SF bay area based Miniwatt String Trio, which consists of two guitars and violin and is in the mold of the Hot Club in texture and material while occasionally venturing far outside those parameters. The Miniwatt Organ Quartet, a jazz organ trio plus violin with the focus primarily on a New Orleans-ified version of the Trio book, adding the works of Charles Earland and Neville Brothers, with deep grooves and surprising tune choices. And The Green Shirt Project which is a quartet that delves into the music of Weather Report, Miles Davis, and other Miles-related tributaries.

With three well-received recordings under his own name featuring Tony Malaby, Todd Sickafoose, Scott Amendola, Devin Hoff, and Art Hirahara, Ettinger has also performed and/or recorded with many other projects including Ornettology (guitarist Myles Boisen’s Ornette Coleman tribute band), Honeycut (on DJ Shadow’s Quannum Records); composer/clarinetist Beth Custer (on her CD Vinculum Symphony and the Hans Wendl-produced soundtrack to the 1929 Russian silent film My Grandmother DVD); and vocalist Percy Howard (Incidental Seductions also featuring Living Colour’s Vernon Reid, King Crimson’s Trey Gunn and This Heat’s Charles Hayward).

Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Ettinger lived in Arizona, where he collaborated with several musicians, including Trio Discussions (with Rob Kaplan, and J. B. Smith), an improv group with whom he recorded an album produced by guitarist David Torn.

While in Arizona he also was a member of the Primavera String Quartet, Mariachi Continental Azteca, various community symphony orchestras, and a composer of music for Desert Dance Theatre, the Southwest’s leading modern dance company. He played in over 50 musicals on either violin or bass. He was a professional bass player in Arizona through the 80’s and early 90’s until his move to San Francisco. In 1987 he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance on violin from Arizona State University. John was born in Detroit, raised in Arizona, and eventually migrated to the San Francisco bay area where he now lives with his wife and two daughters.


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