I consider myself incredibly fortunate  to play regularly in several bands with some  great  people and amazing musicians.

The Missing Man Quartet (MM4) is one of the rare mainstream jazz trios that features electro-acoustic mandolin alongside the more standard instrumentation of electric guitar, drums, and bass. The MM4 plays an exciting mix of straight ahead jazz, from swing to bepop, drawing material from the Great American Songbook and the world of Jazz standards. In addition to featuring mandolin, the use of bass as an equal soloing partner further distinguishes the MM4 from most other mainstream jazz ensembles. The Missing Man Quartet is: Craig Griffeath electric bass; Greg Reginato electric guitar; Tom Bekeny electro-acoustic mandolin, and Bill Lanphier drums.

              photo by Mike Melnyk

The Kathy Kallick Band. There is a tendency to think of West Coast bluegrass as being softer, jazzier, and somehow “other” than traditional. This can be the case, but there is also a school of bluegrass in Northern California which has, from the beginning, been steeped in Monroe-based tradition (Bill Monroe the "father" of Bluegrass music) and has been welcoming to women and original songs. The KKB's most recent release ("Foxhounds") has gotten rave reviews in the US and abroad, and a new release is slated for the Fall of 2018. Available at kathykallick.com

High Country, for over the last forty years, has earned its place as the West Coast's premier traditional bluegrass band. Strongly influenced by the classic styles of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and the Stanley Brothers, the band's blend of banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, guitar, and bass delivers the upbeat excitement of a true "first generation" brand of bluegrass music.

             photo by Anne Hammersky

Bangers and Grass is a traditional bluegrass band comprised of stellar west coast musicians, Bill Evans, Steve Pottier, Jim Nunally, and Chad Manning. Although all members have done their "due diligence" in the study of Bluegrass music and play within the trad bluegrass pocket, the band is also know for its jam band "vibe" and willingness to stretch out. They were featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section (The Datebook), and their monthly shows at the Kensington Circus in Kensington CA are frequently standing room only.

       photo by Mike Melnyk

Jazz Hands. An offshoot of the Missing Man Quartet, this band features Bill Lanphier on bass, and Greg Reginato on guitar. {See video below of "Blues for Les" -partial version- by Art Pepper, featuring Kenny McElroy on drums.}