Tin Hat With the release of its first CD for Hannibal/Rykodisc, The Sad Machinery of Spring, the internationally acclaimed band of genre-leaping musical adventurers known as the Tin Hat Trio begins a new chapter in its remarkable decade-long career. Founded by composers and multi-instrumentalists Mark Orton, Carla Kihlstedt and Rob Burger in 1997, Tin Hat moves effortlessly between genres, creating a new kind of acoustic chamber music that melds elements of jazz, folk, classical, and various American and World roots music. The group’s concert performances and recordings have earned widespread critical praise and an evergrowing legion of fans around the world.
Carla Kihlstedt (violin, voice) was born in Illinois and raised in Lancaster, PA. She was given a pint-sized fiddle when she was five by her Hungarian great-aunt, herself a professional violinist. Soon enough, she found her way to some wonderful violin teachers (Berl Senofsky, Sylvia Rosenberg, Greg Fulkerson) who taught her as much about sound and color as they did the classical repertoire. After graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she moved to San Francisco’s Bay Area, where she explored as many different approaches to music-making as she could find. Since then, she has continued to push the boundaries of sonic vocabulary on both the acoustic and the electric violin. She has always been drawn to chamber music, and to this day, chooses to work with small ensembles of various sorts. In addition to her work with own band 2 foot yard (with cellist Maika Hughes and drummer/guitarist Shahzad Ismaily), she is also a founding member of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.
Mark Orton (guitar, dobro) grew up in a musical family. The son of a conductor, he began formal study of both piano and guitar at the age of four. By the beginning of high school, he was exploring jazz, classical, and world music, and had begun his studies in both composition and theory with Danny Deutsch. Orton went on to study composition at The Peabody Conservatory with Jean Ivey, and at The Hartt School Of Music with David MacBride and Robert Kyr. After school, Mark served as chief engineer at The Knitting Factory in N.Y., allowing him to work extensively with artists ranging from Laurie Anderson and The Kronos Quartet to John Zorn and Marisa Monte. He used this experience to work as both a live-sound and recording engineer, touring with many bands including Bill Frisell, John Lurie and The Lounge Lizards, and Mr. Bungle in Europe, Japan, and America.
Ben Goldberg (clarinets) grew up in Denver, Colorado. He currently lives in Berkeley, California. He was a pupil of the eminent clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo, and studied with Steve Lacy and Joe Lovano. Ben’s group New Klezmer Trio took a slightly different view of the tradition. Their CD Masks and Faces was listed as one of the ten best recordings of 1992 by Cadence magazine, and as The San Francisco Chronicle has noted, it “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music.”
Ara Anderson (trumpet, harmonium, glockenspiel) is a performer and composer in San Francisco. He has collaborated with many talents and acts both nationally and locally and his composition credits include scores for three Killing My Lobster sketch comedy shows (2001-2002) and an off-kilter musical tapestry for the New Pickle Circus’ winter 2002 show Circumstance. In the summer of 2002 he received a Meet The Composer Grant to perform a solo piece at San Francisco’s Meridian Gallery. Currently he leads two bands: Iron & the Albatross and Boostamonte!. He can be heard on Tom Waits’ recordings Blood Money and Alice, as well as Jolie Holland’s Escondida.