Club Foot Orchestra

SFSFF hosted a silent movie blockbuster day—GREATEST HITS WITH CLUB FOOT ORCHESTRA—at the Castro Theatre on Saturday, September 15 with four programs of favorites from the silent era all accompanied by the indefatigable Club Foot Orchestra!

Founded in 1983 by Richard Marriott, Club Foot Orchestra (named after a nightclub in San Francisco's Bayview), was a pioneer in creating modern music for silent film. Their accompaniment is thoughtful and expressive, showing respect and engagement in the images they compose for. Those who attended SFSFF 2013 will remember the extraordinary music Club Foot Orchestra and Gamelan Sekar Jaya set to the Balinese film Legong: Dance of the Virgins. For the September 15 program, Club Foot ran a marathon: Four BIG programs in one day! Starting the day out with the sublime Buster Keaton and the mischievous Felix the Cat (the Buster + Felix show included Felix Woos Whoopee, One Week, The Blacksmith, and Cops) and veering into the dark world of German Expressionism with three masterpiecesThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis and Nosferatu—Club Foot lead the way to a deeper appreciation for the genius of silent cinema.

Members of the orchestra (in alphabetical order):


Currently a New Yorker, guitarist Will Bernard's unique voice was formed from the rich cultural roots of the San Francisco Bay Area. He has performed or recorded with Charlie Hunter, Dr Lonnie Smith, Ben Sidran, Jai Uttal, Tom Waits, Dr. John and a lot of other known and unknowns. His 2007 CD "Party Hats" as well as his 1997 collaborative project T.J. Kirk's If Four Was One were both nominated for Grammys. Will is a regular fixture at New Orleans Jazz fest, Jam Cruise, and similar events, Currently, Will performs with John Medeski's Mad Skillet, Peter Apfelbaum's Sparkler, Frequinox with Stanton Moore and Robert Walter, Pleasure Drones, Brian Charette's Mighty Grinders. Will's 8th album as a leader, Out and About was released in 2016 on Posi-Tone Records.
 
Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been involved in the San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene for over 30 years. Since 1994, he has led the Sheldon Brown Group, which performs his own work. In June 2014, he premiered his extended composition Blood of the Air at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival. He is a founding member of Electric Squeezebox Orchestra and Clarinet Thing.
 
Beth Custer is an Emmy award winning composer. She has created music for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Campo Santo Theatre, William Farley, and The Joe Goode Goode Performance Group. A clarinetist, singer, pianist, Beth performs with the ensembles Trance Mission, Club Foot, with guitar wizard David James, and she leads the esteemed quartet Clarinet Thing. Her numerous awards include a six week artist residency in an Italian castle at Civitella Ranieri.
 
Chris Grady has been teaching, performing and recording music in the San Francisco Bay area for more than 25 years. Chris has studied at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has performed and recorded with many bay area groups and artists including The Beth Custer Ensemble, Tom Waits, Jewel, The Grassy Knoll, and the Club Foot Orchestra among many others. Chris can currently be heard on the title theme music for the new NETFLIX documentary series Bobby Kennedy for President.

Kymry Esainko is the principal pianist for the Santa Rosa Symphony and accompanist for Pacific Edge Voices, Piedmont Children’s Choirs, and the Oakland Symphony Chorus. An accomplished chamber music and jazz pianist, he has worked with artists as varied as Ute Lemper, Dave Brubeck, Bobby McFerrin, Meredith Monk, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Sufjan Stevens.  He holds degrees in piano performance and American history from Oberlin College. Kymry lives in Oakland with his singer/trombonist wife Becca, his son Kai, daughter Stella, and a menagerie of cats and dogs.
 
Sascha Jacobsen was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. Sascha has performed with Rita Moreno (Life Without Makeup, Berkeley Rep), Hugh Jackman, Martin Short, Mandy Patankin & Patti LuPone, Marc Shaiman, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Andrew Lippa, and many others. He is the founder of the Musical Art Quintet, which performs his original works. Sascha also performs with Argentine Tango group, Trio Garufa, and can be found dancing Tango when not performing music.
 
Richard Marriott has composed extensively for film, dance, opera, video games and concert stage. His recent compositions have included operas Divide LightVoyage, and Passion of Leyla; the dance score Invitation; and concert works Metropolis Concerto for Violin and Wind Ensemble and Klezmorim Concerto for Contrabass and Orchestra. His Ghost Ship Concerto for Cello and Orchestra will be premiered by soloist Matthew Linaman and the Oakland Symphony on November 16, 2018.
 
A champion of contemporary music, Conductor Deirdre McClure has led a variety of performing ensembles on both West and East Coasts. As Conductor of the Oakland Opera Theater for many years, she led 18 productions of major operatic works of the modern era, and numerous premiers, with her long-time collaborator and friend Skye Atman, and Tom and Mia Dean. Her performances there were praised many times by Chronicle critic Joshua Kosman. In addition to her work in California, McClure teaches in Maine at the University of New England, and conducts the Odeon Orchestra in Rockport and Sea Change Chorale in Portland. McClure received her doctorate in conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, and has been involved with the unique and captivating music of the Club Foot Orchestra since the early 1990s.
 
Gino Robair has performed and recorded with Tom Waits, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Nina Hagen, Terry Riley, Lou Harrison, Derek Bailey, Otomo Yoshihide, and the ROVA Saxophone Quartet. He is one of the "25 innovative percussionists" included in Percussion Profiles (SoundWorld, 2001), as well as a founding member of the Splatter Trio and Pink Mountain. His opera, I, Norton, based on the life of Norton I, Emperor of the United States, has been performed throughout North America and Europe.
 
Alisa Rosewww.arosefiddle.com, is a versatile violinist and composer. Rose was Grammy-nominated with Quartet San Francisco, an Ambassador of the State Department with the Real Vocal String Quartet, Rockygrass winner with 49 Special, and has performed at Carnegie Hall.  Recent compositions “Nocturne for America” for the RossoRose Duo and Solo Cello pieces for “Bach in Wilmington” tell stories of our times. Rose currently performs with Scroggins & Rose and teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.