November 12, 2010 — University of Virginia alumna Lisa Mezzacappa will bring her West Coast jazz band, Bait & Switch, to Charlottesville for the first time on Nov. 19.
The concert is presented by WTJU-FM (91.1), U.Va.'s radio station, and the Jazz Society of Charlottesville.
Mezzacappa, who graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in music, is a San Francisco-based bassist, composer and self-described "musical instigator."
She is an active collaborator and curator in the Bay Area music community. Besides Bait & Switch, she leads a group called Nightshade and co-leads the Oakland Active Orchestra. She collaborates frequently on cross-disciplinary projects in sound installation, digital poetry, film, sculpture and public music/art.
As curator, she programs the annual JazzPOP concert series at the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a master's degree in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Of Bait & Switch, Mezzacappa said, "We play my original music, inspired by the improvisations of my musical heroes – Ornette Coleman, Henry Threadgill, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Eric Dolphy, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The music funnels rowdy collectivity into finely honed compositions steeped in free jazz abandon, avant-Caribbean groove and garage rock attitude."
The band features Mezzacappa on bass, along with Aaron Bennett on sax, John Finkbeiner on electric guitar and drummer Vijay Anderson.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. at The Sound Studios, 946 Grady Ave., near McGrady's Irish Pub. Tickets, available only at the door, are $12, $10 for Jazz Society members and $5 for students.
Mezzacappa will also conduct a master class for U.Va. students and faculty on Nov. 18 in Old Cabell Hall, room B-12.