Free Press Music (FPM)
Origin: San Francisco
Genre: Soul, Jazz/Blues, Alternative
Years Active: 2017-Present
Label & A/R: Strange Neighbor
Official Websites: www.thefreepressmusic.com
Free Press (FPM) is a Fil-Am led jazz/blues/soul/ improvisational collective based in San Francisco.
Free Press plays at venues such as Golden Gate Bandshell Jazz + Soul Fridays, (courtesy of SF Parks-Rec/Parks Alliance/Illuminate), SkyBridge on Stevenson All the Way Live Dance, (courtesy of the SF Parks Alliance), Bird and Beckett, Flower Piano, Kapwa Gardens, (SOMA Pilipinas), the Cadillac Hotel, Revolution Cafe, Club Deluxe, Madrone, the Lost Church, and other political/private/non-profit events.
Free Press features amazing guest musicians such as Annelise Zamula (Sax+Flute), Ahkeel Mestayer (percussion), Ryan Mihaly (saxophone/piano), David Boyce (saxophone), Michael Cavaseno (guitar), Carl Nash (piano), Tony Pena (violin), Lisa Mezzacappa (bass), Michael Cavaseno (guitar), Maxwell Baker (guitar), Zori Marinova, (percussion), David James (guitar), Rado Randriamamonjy (guitar), Jibril Alvarez (piano), Commissioner on the Status of Women/Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto, SF Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and Filipino poet Jx Theo.
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, 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 builds affordable housing.
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.
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 www.billywhitemusic.com for more information.
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.
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).
Laura Harris plays piano at various venues such as Flower Piano in the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Illuminate Jazz Fridays at the Golden Gate Bandshell and other venues. She also plays with the musical group ILYSB. As the daughter of two musicians and music teachers, she has played piano her whole life. She is also a family physician.
Amelia Catalano plays saxophone and flute with the following bands and at venues such as:
The Four Tops, Warren Gale, Steve Turre, Louie Bellson, The Ojays, The Temptations, Patti LaBelle, The Family Stone, Yates Brothers, Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Morchestra, Carma Big Band, Conrad Herwig, etc.
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 www.jxtheo.net.
A & R Representation:
Adrian, Strange Neighbor | firstname.lastname@example.org