With a musical palette that seamlessly blends vivid shades of jazz, blues, Afro-Caribbean and contemporary classical music, clarinet master Beth Custer is one of the most vital and productive composers on the Bay Area scene. The New York native first gained attention in the early 1980s composing for Club Foot Orchestra, the San Francisco ensemble known for performing innovative scores for classic silent films. Boosted by a series of prestigious fellowships, including the coveted three-year Meet the Composer Residency Grant, the longtime Mission District resident has distinguished herself in an impressive array of settings. In dance she served as primary composer for the Joe Goode Performance Group from 1990-2005. She’s collaborated with Campo Santo Theatre’s acclaimed Intersection For the Arts productions of Octavio Solis’s “The Ballad of Pancho & Lucy” and “June In A Box.” And she’s toured internationally performing her original score for “My Grandmother,” a caustically satiric Soviet silent film from 1929. As a bandleader Custer pilots a series of bracing ensembles, including her clarinet quartet Clarinet Thing and the funk-powered Beth Custer Ensemble. For her SFJAZZ debut, she brings her reeds to the resonant chamber of the Church of the Advent for a singular Sacred Space event.
Beth Custer clarinet