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Christie Aida & the Free Press


Origin: San Francisco

Genre: Soul, Jazz/Blues, Alternative

Years Active: 2019-Present

A/R: Strange Neighbor

Official Website:

Click Globe for some Free Press

Christie Aida & the Free Press EPK

“Christie Aida & the Free Press is a Filipina American-led San Francisco (District 5) based music collective with roots in soul, jazz, blues and improvisation. Vocalist/songwriter Christie Aida and her diverse group of artists conjure a deep and dynamic repertoire that constellates sounds from around the globe. Singing in Spanish, Tagalog, English and French, Aida deftly interweaves her wide-ranging influences to create a delightful and surprising mix of classics, deep cuts, and original numbers. Those originals often are informed by her sensitivity and advocacy for community organizing, social justice, and housing as a human right. As such, the stories, struggles, and everyday life experiences of Tenderloin and SOMA residents, in particular Filipinos and other communities of color, crop up in FPM’s music. For example, the narrative of the Tenderloin Museum’s physical home, the Cadillac Hotel, is the subject of a song “Reality House.” The song celebrates the residents and the history of the Cadillac, including one resident who practices harm reduction by using Narcan regularly to help others in crisis.” (A.Spoto writer for Rolling Stone & Spin).  The experiences of a formerly homeless Filipino friend are also the subject of the song, "Teody" where instrumentals converge around a percussive heartbeat driven by both batá and drums. Another original, "Near Avalon" is based on the countercultural influence of the former Avalon Ballroom on San Francisco.  Jazz and Blues deep cuts include songs by NOLA soul superstar Irma Thomas.  Other deep cuts include Filipina singers such as Pilita Corrales and Sugar Pie de Santo.


Free Press has played at the Golden Gate Bandshell, Bird and Beckett, various outdoor festivals, (including D6 Filipino festivals at Kapwa Gardens, 5M Park, and Skybridge on Stevenson, All the Way Live Dance events), Flower Piano, Concerts at the Cadillac, Tenderloin Museum, Library Laureates Celebration at the SF Main Library, and at many SF Branch libraries.  In 2024, Christie Aida & the Free Press will play again at the Golden Gate Bandshell, Ivy Room, Concerts at the Cadillac, various SF Library branches and other outdoor festivals.


Social Media/EPK/EPs:

Website: EPK, Rider (word docs attachments), & videos are available on:


2024 Free Press show reel:


EPs on Bandcamp:


Instagram:  @thefreepressmusic

Threads:  @thefreepressmusic

TikTok: (These Tiktoks feature videos of friends and subjects of songs)

Facebook:  @FreePressMusic

Christie Aida & the Free Press Musicians/Vocalists/Poets/Performers:

Christie Aida is the bandleader, vocalist and songwriter for Free Press Music.  Free Press Music  plays  at multiple San Francisco venues such as Illuminate Jazz Fridays at the Golden Gate Bandshell, Ivy Room, Library Laureates Celebration at the Main Library, Flower Piano in the Botanical Gardens, Bird and Beckett, Concerts at the Cadillac, Club Deluxe, All the Way Dance at the SkyBridge on Stevenson, (Parks Alliance), Britt Marie, The Lost Church, Revolution Cafe, Kapwa Gardens (SOMA Pilipinas), and other SF venues.  Christie sang in various gospel choirs and jazz ensembles such as Glide and the Aida Jazz Trio.  She also has a Civil Engineering degree, a Construction Management background and is a housing/human rights activist.  She builds affordable housing for very low-income friends throughout SF and California.  She also helps build community centers for BIPOC/POC communities and hopes to build affordable housing for fellow artists, some of whom have been displaced or in danger of displacement due to hyper-gentrification.     

Dave Mihaly is known for his drum and percussion work with Jolie Holland and the SF improvisational collective Mushroom. He has manned the drum chair with Trans Van Santos, Bardo, Sean Hayes and many more.  He is bandleader and songwriter for the Shimmering Leaves.  He also is a songwriter/composer.  Dave Mihaly provides guidance on arrangements and songwriting.

Alex Spoto toured professionally for 2 years as a multi-instrumentalist, (violin, guitar, bass, etc.) with Benjamin Booker, managed by Monotone, INC. Performed on many late night TV shows and at festivals from Glastonbury to Coachella to Fujirock. 

Fernando Rodriguez is a professional musician, arranger & teacher.  He plays bass and guitar for Christie Aida & the Free Press.  

Billy White, (pianist), is a keyboardist, composer, producer, electronic musician and songwriter.  Born in San Francisco, he graduated attended UCLA's jazz studies program, where he studied under Kenny Burrell and earned a B.A. in Ethnomusicology.  Billy has played at the Kennedy Center, Amphiteater Monmartre, Black Cat, Irwin’s Playhouse and at Small’s.  He has won numerous awards and scholarships, including the David A. Abell Jazz Piano Scholarship, the Martin Feldman Award, the Duke Ellington Jazz Award and several CMEA Command Performances. He has worked with Blue Note artist Ambrose Akinmusire, Dayna Stephens, Obed Calvaire, Paula West, and Marcus Shelby, as well as crossing over into R&B, working with Bilal (Grammy-nominee), and Maiysha Kai (Grammy-nominee) and gospel star James Hall, contributed to Ronnie Spector's latest album "English Heart", and worked with electronica artists like Teeko, Captain Planet, and Pablo Ygal (formerly of Plug Research).  He has composed for film (the festival-winning Bowling Blind, 2011) and dance (Martha Graham School of Dance, Long Island University).  He has also worked in musical theater, co-writing the musical "Finding Harlem" with Rent's Ano Okera.  In 2010, he released "First Things First", an album of original jazz, which garnered positive reviews in the press, including both Down Beat Magazine and his native San Francisco Chronicle. See for more information.  

Mena Ramos is a percussionist specializing in Afro-Cuban folkloric music.  She has toured internationally with Amikaeyla Gaston and the Harmonic Rhythms performing a fusion of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms with African-American spirituals.  Since moving to the Bay Area in 2012, she has performed with the Arenas Dance Company, Pairadocs (w/ Laura Harris), Kaimera Productions, Annette Aguilar and Stringbeans, Javier Navarrete, Christelle Durandy, Francisco Rosales y su Charanga ensemble, Elizabeth Sayre and Michaelle Goerlitz at venues such as the SF Opera House, Oakland City Hall, Oakland Scottish Rite Center, Flower Piano, Bird and Beckett, Grand Lake Studios and Revolution Cafe.  Her greatest musical influences and teachers are the late Alfredo Benitez Gonzalez (Cuarteto d'Aida) and Manley "Piri" Lopez (Los Chinitos).  Mena is also a family and ER doctor, co-founder of the Global Ultrasound Institute, and salsa dance instructor (Rueda con Ritmo).    

Annelise Zamula has toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe with the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet, performing at the Lilith Fair in Vancouver, B.C. and opening for the Indigo Girls at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. In 2008 she performed with the Montclair Women’s Big Band at the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.


Tongo Eisen-Martin, named San Francisco’s eighth Poet Laureate in 2021, is a revolutionary educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people and human rights.

He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, and holds an M.A. from Columbia.

His books of poetry include the include the forthcoming collection from City Lights Blood on the Fog, as well as his debut book, someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award; and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize.  In their citation, the judges for the Griffin Prize wrote that Eisen-Martin’s work “moves between trenchant political critique and dreamlike association, demonstrating how, in the right hands, one mode might energize the other—keeping alternative orders of meaning alive in the face of radical injustice… His poems are places where discourses and vernaculars collide and recombine into new configurations capable of expressing outrage and sorrow and love.”

Jxtheo (j-thee-o), also known as Jean (JT) Teodoro, is an environmentalist, proletarian internationalist, poet and educator. They were born in QC, Philippines and raised in both QC and Unceded Ramaytush Ohlone Land (San Francisco, CA). They are a vocalist of the hip-hop & rock band Boondock Squad. They are also a founding member of Anakbayan San Francisco. They have worked as an instructor in social sciences, creative writing, literature and boxing. Their debut publication, a graphic poetry book titled ‘Paper Trail of FREEDOM’, is available for order now at


A & R Representation:

Adrian, Strange Neighbor |


Stage plots dependent on venue stage/logistics.  General Rider below.

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