• Free Press at the Illuminate Altraverse Jazz Celebration of Life for 4 Poet Laureates 12/3/21
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  • Free Press at the Illuminate Celebration of Life of 4 Poet Laureates, 12/3/21

Free Press Music (FPM)

BIO

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 Female/Filipina jazz/blues/soul/ improvisational collective based in San Francisco.

 

Members of the music collective are: 

Christie Aida (vocals), Mena Ramos (Afro-Cuban percussion), Laura Harris (Piano), and Amelia Catalano (flute and sax).  

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),  revolutionary 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.  

 

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, Realistic Orchestra/Jazz Mafia, Mindi Abair, Monica Mancini, Montclair Women's Big Band, Linda Tillery, Sal Carson Big Band, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Pamela Rose, Duane Laurence, Jimmy Bosch, Herman Olivera, Los Adolescentes, etc.  She performed at the Grammies, Lincoln Center, Jazz on the Hill, Berkeley Front Row Festival, New Orleans By The Bay, San Jose Jazz Festival, KBLX Smooth Jazz Festival, Festival La Familia, Shoreline Blues Festival, Squaw Valley Blues and Brews Festival, Nihonmachi Festival, Women In Salsa, Jazz at Pearl's, Roccapulco, Rassella's, Bruno's, Maiko's, Montero's, Alberto's, The Agenda, The Ramp, Cafe Cocomo, Pier 23, Club Conga, Saratoga Mountain Winery, Villa Montalvo, Gordon Biersch Brewery, The Jazz School, Yoshi's, Bodega Bay Art + Wine Festival, Metronome Ballroom, Sweets Ballroom, Oakland Art + Soul Festival, Sausalito Art Festival, Brian Culbertson's Napa Valley Jazz Getaway, SFJAZZ, Coppola winery, Ashkenaz, Crane Pavilion, Concord Pavilion, Freight and Salvage, Oakland Paramount Theatre, etc.

Additional Bios

 

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.

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.

Poets 

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.

PHOTOS
REPRESENTATION

A & R Representation:

Adrian, Strange Neighbor | adrian@chromeyellow.net

RIDERS

TBD

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