The Crooked Jades

The Crooked Jades are on a mission to reinvent old-world music for a modern age, pushing boundaries and blurring categories with their fiery, soulful performances. Innovative, unpredictable and passionate, they bring their driving dance tunes and haunting ballads to rock clubs, festivals, traditional folk venues and concert halls across America and Europe.

Known for their rare and obscure repertoire, beautiful original compositions, inspired arrangements and eclectic, often vintage instrumentation, The Crooked Jades began with band leader/founder Jeff Kazor's vision to revive the dark and hypnotic sounds of pre-radio music. With this old-time foundation, the band has created the unique Crooked Jades sound by exploring the roots of Americana and interweaving the diverse musical influences of Europe and Africa. Filtering these old-world sounds with universal and ancient themes through a post-9/11 lens, they seek to make sense of the future.

A collective of West and East Coast pickers with equal parts attitude and respect, always led by Kazor, the band performs with a thrilling energy that has audiences on their feet dancing and critics comparing them to everyone from The New Lost City Ramblers and The Pogues to Gillian Welch, Nick Cave and Tom Waits.

The Crooked Jades core consists of founders Jeff Kazor (vocals/guitar/ukulele) and Lisa Berman (vocals/slide guitar/banjo/harmonium), with long-time member Erik Pearson (vocals/banjos/ukulele/harmonium/slide guitar,) composer of the Crooked Jades tune selected by Sean Penn in his 2007 film “Into The Wild”. An important former member who has recently rejoined is Megan Adie (bass), back in San Francisco after a decade of living and playing 17th and 18th century double bass in Europe (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Concerto Copenhagen, and La Chambre Philharmonique; Copenhagen Phil and Malmö Opera; and various chamber groups in Denmark and southern Sweden.) A key member of the Crooked Jades evolution, touring and recording with the Jades for several years, Megan’s iconic (arco) bass can be heard on the band’s acclaimed album “Worlds on Fire.” The newest member of the Jades is Emily Mann, a young up-and-coming fiddler in demand, who is also half of the folk duo Paper Wings. Emily is a Big Sur native with her heart in the old Appalachian mountains, and she fits into the Jades musical jigsaw seamlessly.

Adjunct members of the collective include:

  • Jennie Benford (vocals/mandolin/guitar)
  • Elise Engelberg (fiddle)
  • Tom Lucas (banjos/fiddle)
  • Stephanie Prausnitz (fiddle)
  • Josh Rabie (fiddle/mandolin)
  • Adam Tanner (fiddle/mandolin)
  • Sophie Vitells (fiddle/vocals)
  • Seth Folsom (banjos)
  • Leah Abramson (vocals/uke/guitar/harmonium)
  • Carley Wolf (vocals/mandolin/guitar)

About the Band: For the last 20 years The Crooked Jades have traveled countless miles across 4 continents, 10 countries, and as many festivals to bring you 8 critically acclaimed albums including Worlds On Fire (chosen by Sean Penn for the soundtrack of Oscar­-nominated film Into The Wild) and Seven Sisters: A Kentucky Portrait – the soundtrack to the award­-winning PBS documentary of the same name, two albums co-produced by alt-country’s Richard Buckner and was a featured artist on KQED arts program SPARK. Known for their rare and obscure repertoire, inspired arrangements and eclectic, often vintage instrumentation, The Crooked Jades began with Kazor’s vision to revive the dark and hypnotic sounds of pre-­radio music. With this old ­time foundation, the band has created a unique sound by exploring the roots of Americana and interweaving the diverse musical influences of Europe and Africa. Filtering these old-world sounds with universal and ancient themes through a post-9/11 lens, they seek to make sense of the future, reaffirming the importance of connecting to our roots in a time of intense digital connection. Writes Bluegrass Unlimited, “Chords in unexpected places, out of this world harmonies, and some of the most powerfully-arranged material I’ve ever encountered.”

Videos

Catalog

  • Jade Note Music CJ009 “Bright Land” © 2012
       (Original Soundtrack to the Kate Weare Company Dance Work)
  • Jade Note Music CJ008 “Shining Darkness” © 2008
  • Jade Note Music CJ206 "World's on Fire" © 2006
       (on soundtrack for Sean Penn’s 2007 film “Into the Wild”)
  • Jade Note Music CJ904: "The Crooked Jades" (5 song EP) © 2004
  • Jade Note Music CJ004: "The Unfortunate Rake, Vol. 2: Yellow Mercury" © 2003
       (co-produced by Richard Buckner)
  • Jade Note Music CJ003: "The UnfortunateRake, Vol. 1" © 2000
       (co-produced by Richard Buckner)
  • Jade Note Music CJ002: "Seven Sisters: A Kentucky Portrait" © 2000
       (soundtrack to PBS documentary)
  • Crooked 001 “Going to the Races” © 1998

Bios

Jeff Kazor founded his groundbreaking and internationally influential band The Crooked Jades in San Francisco in 1996, recording 7 albums and touring the US and Europe playing festivals including Rudolstadt World Music Fest in Germany, Hebridean Celtic Festival in Scotland, Belfast Festival at Queens in Ireland, Calgary Folk Festival in Canada and (Hardly) Strictly Bluegrass, Merlefest, and Strawberry Festivals in the US. The Crooked Jades have showcased at SXSW, Folk Alliance and IBMA and been profiled on the PBS art magazine SPARK. Live radio performances include BBC in Scotland, England and Ireland and NPR in the US. A producer, musicologist and composer, as well as multi-instrumentalist and magnetic vocalist and performer, Kazor created the soundtrack to award-winning PBS documentary film “Seven Sisters” (2000) and produced music selected by Sean Penn for “Into the Wild” (2007). Recently selected by prestigious UK folk music magazine fRoots as one of 10 bands representing the best of Americana, Kazor and The Crooked Jades are currently being profiled and filmed for an upcoming 4-part television series (co-production of the US and Britain's BBC) to represent the cutting-edge modern folk music scene. Kazor co-founded the grassroots San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival in 1999.
http://jeffkazor.com

Lisa Berman is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Internationally known as a pioneer in bringing the Hawaiian slide guitar back to old-time music and redefining its sound, she also performs on claw-hammer banjo, dobro, guitar, harmonium, and baritone ukulele. Berman co-founded The Crooked Jades with Jeff Kazor, where her rare gift for harmony singing has been showcased and critically acclaimed as hauntingly beautiful and goosebump- raising. Her performance style incorporates elements of body music and dance, drawing from her studies of African and Afro-American styles. Berman also records and tours with the renowned Stairwell Sisters (an all-woman old-time string band she co-founded), including performances on Prairie Home Companion, Lincoln Center (NYC), (Hardly) Strictly Bluegrass Festival (San Francisco), Celtic Connections Festival (Scotland), the BBC and Sesame Street. A sought-after session player and teacher, Berman has worked with such traditional-music stalwarts as the late Mike Seeger, Laurie Lewis, Mac Martin and Tut Taylor.
http://lisabermandesign.com

Erik Pearson has been an integral part of The Crooked Jades since the beginning, first recording with the band on the Seven Sisters project. In addition he has performed and recorded as a solo artist and with a multitude of bands including Mushroom, Sonya Hunter, Alice Bierhorst, The Billy Talbot Band, Irene Sazer and The Stairwell Sisters. Pearson tours the US with master storyteller Diane Ferlatte accompanying her on banjo and guitar. They have made six award-winning CDs, including three Parent’s Choice Gold awards, and a 2007 Grammy® nomination for Wickety Whack, Brer Rabbit is Back. Performance highlights include The National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN (where 10,000+ people come to hear stories), and The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Pearson, who studied Music Composition and Cultural Anthropology at Oberlin College/Conservatory of Music, has composed music for San Francisco choreographers Chris Black and Jordan Fuchs, and written film and chamber music ranging from Creeping Dawn: Mountain & Shadow, a prize winning composition for 24 recorders commissioned by the American Recorder Orchestra of the West, to “Fork & File”, a banjo composition on the Crooked Jades’ World’s on Fire CD which was included in the soundtrack for Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild.
http://erikpearson.net/

Megan Adie (bass) is a musician and printmaker who has been playing with the Crooked Jades since 2004. With a background in classical music and historical performance practice, she brings a cinematic sensibility to the band, finding an alternative approach to the standard old-time bass sound. Megan has accompanied the band on tours across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2010, she moved to Europe to study early music, and stayed for six years, performing with orchestras across the continent and in England; she returned to San Francisco in 2016, and has been fortunate to continue her ongoing collaboration with the Crooked Jades.
http://meganadie.com

Emily Mann is a Big Sur, CA native with her heart in the old Appalachian mountains. She grew up immersing herself in a variety of traditional music styles at music camps and is a fluid and well rounded musician as a result. While at home in many genres and traditions, her artistry is strongly influenced by her time spent with oldtime musicians such as Paul Brown, Bruce Molsky, and John Herrmann. She has toured with Darol Anger's Furies and she is also a current touring member of old-time string-band, The Crooked Jades. Emily stands as a musician of deep intention and curiosity, ably conveying tradition into the future.
http://www.paperwingsmusic.com

 

Booking

U S A:

jeff@jeffkazor.com
(415) 341-5299

EUROPE:

Rainer Zellner, Music Contact
zellner@musiccontact.com
www.musiccontact.com

stage plot

cjplot_2008.pdf

Publicity & Management

jeff@jeffkazor.com
(415)290-2650

Credits

Home page photos:
Mike Melnyk

Shining Darkness gallery photos:
Tom Erikson

Web Site & Shining Darkness Graphic Design:
Davidovich Design