Kishi Bashi, Elizabeth & The Catapult, and Tall Tall Trees Live Session
KaoruIshibashi, who goes by the professional name KishiBashi, is a singer-songwriter, composer and performing artist who appears both solo and with groups. He plays multiple instruments including violin, keyboard and guitar, and his musical repertoire ranges from indie pop and rock to psychedelic pop. He sometimes uses Japanese singing as one of many sound layers in his creations, helping to suggest (to Western ears, at least) a sense of the ineffable. His newest release, Lighght was released in 2014.
Elizabeth & the Catapult focuses on the songwriting talents of Elizabeth Ziman, whose music makes room for pop, coffeehouse folk, and downtown jazz. An active musician since childhood, Ziman trained as a classical pianist until the age of 16, at which point she shifted attention toward her voice. The budding entertainer then joined Patti Austin on tour in 2002, singing background vocals for the soul legend for the next 18 months. After returning to New York in 2004, she began piecing together a trio with drummer Danny Molad and guitarist Peter Lalish. After establishing a strong D.I.Y. ethic and attracting attention from (but never signing with) several major labels, the band inked a contract with Verve Records. The resulting record, Taller Children, marked their major-label debut in June 2009. One year later, the group returned with a second album, The Other Side of Zero, whose dark humor was largely inspired by Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing. After an extended break from recording, the group returned with Like It Never Happened at the beginning of 2014.
Mike Savino is not your grandaddy's banjo player, and Tall Tall Trees is definitely not your average indie-folk outfit from NYC. Savino has released two records on his own start-up label Good Neighbor Records, Tall Tall Trees (2009), and Moment (2012), and has toured extensively, mystifying audiences with his innovative banjo technique. Whether performing with a full band or solo, Savino runs his instrument, dubbed by fans as the "space banjo" or "banjotron", through a slab of effects and loopers, bowing, drumming, and strumming out multi-textured arrangements on the fly to support his lyrically driven songs. His new release is due out in 2015.