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.
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 Congolese and Afro-Brazilian styles. Berman also toured and recorded 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. She has performed with such traditional-music stalwarts as the late Mike Seeger, Laurie Lewis, Mac Martin and Tut Taylor. Lisa was also a co-founder of the San Francisco Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival, and is a seasoned graphic designer and photographer—having worked on countless CDs, and branding for music festivals and bands (www.bermandesign.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.
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.
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.