The Crooked Jades

Fall 2017

The Crooked Jades are currently working their music alchemy in the studio, making progress on their 9th album, projected for an early spring 2018 release. The band’s following have been clamoring for this, and one fan in particular is helping to make it possible. He was so impressed with the Crooked Jades performance at the California Bluegrass Association Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival this year, that he became a benefactor to financially sponsor the new recordings with the band’s present configuration.

Crooked Jades are gearing up to celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2015!!

The Jades are also pleased to announce a NEW ALBUM! in the works to be released in conjunction with their anniversary celebration tours in the Spring and Fall of next year. Also look out for the Bright Land documentary by Charlie Steiner slated for release this summer. Shot in New York 2011 leading up to the premiere at New York's Joyce Theatre, the film follows the dancers and musicians during rehearsals and right into opening night and really showcases the nitty-gritty process of this unique collaboration between modern dance and old-time music.


The highly anticipated new album Bright Land is here! Available at our shows, website, CD Baby, Amazon and local record stores.

West coast CD release tour in September, San Diego, LA, Los Osos and Pleasanton. And in October the Crooked Jades will be in Nevada and down to N. California, Auburn, Arcata, Ukiah and in the beginning of November we will be home at the Freight and Salvage.

Jade Note Music CJ009

This San Francisco-based band boldly goes where no old-time string band has gone before. The Crooked Jades new release "Bright Land" is a soundtrack of 20 songs and tunes for a 50-minute work of contemporary dances set to old-time music composed and re-arranged by The Crooked Jades. The project all started when acclaimed New York-based modern dance maven Kate Weare came out to see the Jades on their "Shining Darkness" tour at Café du Nord in San Francisco. A stranger to the band at the time, they all noticed her right away because she was inspired to get up and dance, not to a fast-driving fiddle tune like most audiences, but to a mournful Roscoe Holcomb ballad called Moonshiner. Later she told the band that she was moved by the skill, edge and depth of their music and felt inspired as a choreographer. So that's what sparked this unlikely collaboration. And it really came to feel like the perfect union as the band was in turn inspired to reframe compositions to join Crooked Jades' hypnotic old-time music with Kate Weare's boldly poetic modern dance.


The Crooked Jades will be performing a very special show backing up the legendary singer-songwriter alt-country guru Richard Buckner at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco on Wednesday August 17th.

This show supports Rick's critically acclaimed new release "Our Blood" on Merge Records in stores August 2nd.

Richard Buckner has a significant history with The Crooked Jades, having co-produced and performed on two ground-breaking envelope-pushing albums, "The Unfortunate Rake Vol. 1 and 2".

Jeff Kazor, Lisa Berman and Erik Pearson are looking forward to stretching outside of their string band element playing drums, keyboards, and electric guitars along with the usual suspects - banjo, slide/dobro and harmonium. David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights (The Clean) from New Zealand co-headline

Jeff Kazor will be continuing on with Richard Buckner for the rest of the US tour dates:

8.16.11 Los Angeles, CA - Bootleg Theater
8.17.11 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall (with Crooked Jades trio)
8.19.11 Portland, OR - Bunk Bar
8.20.11 Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
8.23.11 Atlanta, GA - Smith's Olde Bar
8.24.11 Chapel Hill, NC - The Arts Center
8.25.11 Arlington VA - IOTA Club & Café
8.27.11 Brooklyn, NY - The Bell House
8.28.11 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hal

Bright Land update

Bright Land continues to be our main project and has been extraordinary. Collaborating with brilliant choreographer Kate Weare and her talented passionate modern dancers has been the most challenging and gratifying experience to date. Thanks to Warren Hellman's interest and generous financial support, The Crooked Jades were able to go into the studio to record the intricately composed Bright Land soundtrack after the live shows at ODC and are now in the middle of post production with a projected winter completion for a spring 2012 release.

Also look for the Bright Land documentary by Charlie Steiner slated for release at the end of this year. Shot in New York last summer leading up to the premiere at New York's Joyce Theatre, the film follows the dancers and musicians during rehearsals and right into opening night and really showcases the nitty-gritty process of this unique collaboration between modern dance and old-time music.


My Bloody Valentine redux

Jeff Kazor has been producing a new record for Kenny Feinstein(of the Water Tower Bucket Boys) involving performances by several of The Crooked Jades including Lisa Berman singing harmonies and playing slide, Erik Pearson on dobro, guitars and flutes, and Charlie Rose on bass. This ambitious project is a totally acoustic reconstruction of My Bloody Valentine's seminal "Loveless" album from 1991 with absolutely no digital processing. One of the big challenges in keeping true to the album's essence has been inventing an acoustic process that creates the ethereal blanket of swirling distortion behind those beautiful vocals and poppy melodies.

New Crooked Jades Album

Ideas continue to evolve beneath the surface of all the collaborations. We're looking forward to more pre-production in the coming winter months and are exploring all possibilities for financial support to get us back in the studio.

We hope to see you on the 17th! Drop us a line on our Facebook page - we'd love to hear from you.

West coast premiere of "Bright Land" at ODC New Theatre in San Francisco
April 28, 29, 30 & May 1, 2011!

CROOKED JADES... Go Boldly where no old-time string band has gone before.... We are still in the afterglow of the world premiere of "Bright Land" at the Joyce Theater in New York (August 2010). It was gratifying beyond our wildest dreams to be greeted with passionate, receptive, intelligent and enthusiastic audiences that filled the house to the brim every single night. You humbled us with your dedication and keen observation, and reminded us that these moments where we are all together are what the months of sweat and tears are for. We hope you’ll check out our photos in our Facebook gallery, especially in the Bright Land photo gallery, plus hundreds hundreds more on Flickr and read quotes and reviews from the show. You can also download a Bright Land desktop wallpaper by clicking onto Kate Weare Company site.

We're looking forward to welcoming back east coast musicians Charlie Rose and Rose Sinclair to join us for the two weeks of intense rehearsal with the dancers before the west coast premiere, and to working with the amazing Bruce Kaphan once again to record the "Bright Land" soundtrack. This soundtrack will be available later in the year.

Finally, The Crooked Jades are thrilled to debut our collaboration with the critically acclaimed modern dance group Kate Weare Company at the Joyce Theatre in New York City in August!

Our May residency at ODC with Kate Weare and Company was just an amazing experience all around, culminating in a raucous showing at SF's Noe Valley Ministry on May 22. See our photo montage (complete with music) here (by the fabulous Mike Melnyk) or click here to learn more about Kate Weare Company. We hope to see you! Joyce Show Information and Ticket Purchase >

San Francisco Old-Time Music Meets New York Modern Dance with Kate Weare Dance Company

The Crooked Jades continue to explore new frontiers as they begin an exciting collaboration with the critically acclaimed New York modern dance group Kate Weare Company,, which will be previewed in its formative stages at Noe Valley Ministry on May 22 as one highlight in an entire evening of hypnotic old-time music. The Crooked Jades lineup presents founders Jeff Kazor (guitar, vocals) and Lisa Berman (slide guitar, banjo, vocals) joined by Erik Pearson (banjo, ukulele, harmonium), Rose Sinclair (banjo, harmonium, slide guitar), Elise Engelberg (fiddle) and Genessa Kealoha (bass).

The dance, entitled “Bright Land”, features a quintet of dancers and explores the cyclical nature of human experience with piercing, powerful choreography and fiery, soulful live music. Premiering in its entirety at New York’s Joyce Theatre in August and then will be performed as part of the grand opening of the new ODC performance venue in 2011, the collaboration tackles the emotional undertakings—kinship, belief, suffering, love—that shape us in our lifetimes and repeat in cycles through the ages.

Well Deserved Rest & Renovation, Reunion and Recording

Jeff has been taking a break from touring, staying home to renovate his house and enjoy his young son while ruminating on future music plans. These  include The Crooked Jades annual Northwest Tour in August with the current lineup (San Francisco, Arcata, Santa Cruz,  Los Angeles and Winnemmucca NV) and reuniting with original Crooked Jades vocalist Lisa Berman to record a duo album in late Winter 2010. 

Crooked Jades Documentary Work in Progress

Jim Swenson and Doug Williford have been filming The Crooked Jades for the last 5 years and have put together a short preliminary version of a documentary film (work in progress) which will be previewed on San Francisco Cable Access Channel 29 on Tuesday 3/3 at 9:30PM and Saturday 3/7 at 8PM. It may also be used as filler overnight and in the mornings. Please check it out if you live in San Francisco or tell your friends who live here. We’re looking forward to greater viewing access in the future with the final project. What we’ve seen so far is artful and insightful and gives a good overview of the band evolution (all three generations are featured) with plenty of live performances filmed at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco as well as an up to date interview with Jeff Kazor filmed in January of this year. Let us know what you think! A final cut should be ready in time for the documentary festival circuit in 2010.

fRoots Cover Story

The Crooked Jades are honored to be featured on the cover of the Jan/Feb 2009 double issue of the prestigious UK magazine fRoots devoted to the new Americana:

  • Devon Sproule
  • Carolina Chocolate Drops
  • The Crooked Jades
  • Rupa & The April Fishes
  • Corey Harris
  • Seasick Steve
  • The Pine Leaf Boys
  • Lissa Schneckenburger

Shining Darkness glowingly reviewed by fRoots editor Ian Anderson: “’Americana’ seems to be pretty much off the boil and resting, worn as a flag of convenience by too many chancers and exhausted by fringe rockers whose connection to the roots was as thin as their originality. The Crooked Jades are something else though. Grounded in tradition, old-time string band music and mountain blues but with open horizons that take them, subtly, to other parts of the planet, they have a haunting spookiness, an organic pulse, and most importantly a clear vision... Instrumentally they're truly inspiring, getting original textures out of conventional stringband instruments and mixing them with (in this context) oddities like bass ukulele, harmonium, mbira, cello and Vietnamese jaw harp and bau zither. Vocally, they have that lonesome white blues sound which has its ancestry in Dock Boggs and the Carters but again they take it somewhere else...a consistently startling and addictive album."

Brand new Album coming July 24

Coming in July Jeff’s dream comes true of the first all-original Crooked Jades album: “Shining Darkness.” With this project the band continues to look for light in the shadow and explore the alchemy of art and darkness. Recorded in Fantasy’s famous Studio A by Bruce Kaphan and co-produced by Jeff and Bruce the album features the current lineup and more eclectic instruments including harmonium, bao (Vietnamese one-string box zither) and mbira. We’ll follow up with a west coast CD release tour in August and a month-long tour in Europe and Ireland in September/October. More news soon.

Crooked Jades song in new Sean Penn film, Into the Wild

We are proud and excited to announce that Erik Pearson’s original tune “Fork and File” from the latest Crooked Jades CD “World’s on Fire” is part of the soundtrack for the amazing new Sean Penn film “Into the Wild” .

Penn's fourth filmmaking effort, "Into the Wild," is his most accomplished yet, a sign that for all the accolades labeling him the finest actor of his generation, directing could be his real calling.

Adapted by Penn from Jon Krakauer's best-seller, "Into the Wild" combines grand American vistas with the heartbreaking real-life story of a fierce young idealist whose two-year trek of abstinent adventure ended in tragedy in Alaska.

Christopher McCandless was a rebellious spirit who came from a fairly privileged background yet was drawn to the ascetic tenets set forth by such writers as Leo Tolstoy, Jack London and Henry David Thoreau. He set off on his quest with an aim to repudiate material society and live on his own terms.

For more info about the film go to:

As they say in the trailer for the film, “If you want something in life, reach out and grab it"



U S A:
(415) 341-5299


Rainer Zellner, Music Contact

Publicity & Management


Home page photos:
Mike Melnyk

Shining Darkness gallery photos:
Tom Erikson

Web Site & Shining Darkness Graphic Design:
Davidovich Design