Hey everyone,

Beautiful summer day, happy summer! happy pride weekend! So grateful to be living in such a gorgeous place.

This week I lost one of my biggest fans/neighbor/friend/artist/color specialist biz owner David Van Dommelen. He must have attended hundreds of my concerts and thousands of the Bay Area’s most cutting edge events, a friend of ROVA Sax Quartet and many other Bay Area musicians. Thank you David for your years of support and camaraderie, you will be greatly missed here in our little town, wait….I just thought I saw you whizzing by on your bike……

This summer, the wonderful William Farley film I composed for, Plastic Man, The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish, will be playing as part of the Jewish Film Festival! Don’t miss this intriguing documentary, you’ll be inspired folks!

Saturday, July 25, 4:30
The Castro Theatre 
429 Castro Street, SF

Tuesday, July 28, 6:30 pm
Cine Arts, Palo Alto Square
3000 El Camino Real Bldg, #6

Sunday, August 2, 4:10 pm
California Theatre
2113 Kittredge Street, Berkeley

Get your TICKETS in advance!

Thinking ahead…

On November 14th Will Bernard and I will be performing a duo concert at SF Jazz this fall, git yer tickets way in advance for that, Will’s a Berkeley born n’ raised so it’s bound to sell out now that he’s hit the big time in New Yawk!

Peace on this historic day for gay marriage rights!

Love,

Beth

Dear Lovely Ones,

Being a full time musician is a grace, it’s lovely to do what you love for a living. People often ask me ‘why do you play in so many bands?’ I’ve pondered this often and run the gamut of reasons but the one that shines through is my desire to play music in as many situations as possible, I love the challenge that each musical endeavor presents.

Whether it’s playing in my first ever Sondheim musical at the Drew School (Into the Woods, what a lovely score, thanks for hiring me James Garrison!), to scoring a film (don’t miss Plastic Man this summer!), to performing a live original score to Bee Film by Cathy Lee Crane, to recording The Beth Custer Ensemble‘s upcoming release in Jeff Cressman‘s cozy studio (almost done!), to teaching private music lessons, to performing with my ensembles, I have a lot of work to do every day and it’s fascinatingly challenging. Anyway… I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do, so there you have it.

One of my very favorite ensembles to play with is Trance Mission. After years of being somewhat dormant as a group we’ll be blossoming out big time this month on June 12th at Cousin Jack’s Mariposa Evenings music festival, on June 13th Russian Center in SF, and at Chapel of Chimes Garden of Memory on June 21st. Come out and hear our new material that we recently recorded and are priming to release soon (hopefully in the fall) and chestnuts from our four seminal releases. Big congrats to Sir Stephen Kent for being honored by Berkeley City Council as Artist of the Month, well done!

You too can commission a composer as the Bernal Hill Players so generously did with me thanks to a grant from SFFCM. I created Four Hidden Stairways of San Francisco for them and the premiere is at the Presidio Officer’s Club on June 19, 6pm and it’s free!

All the Very Best,

Beth

Hatchfund!

Hey there,
You’ve supported my projects in the past or have mentioned that you’d like to support my current fundraiser on Hatchfund.

If you haven’t already, please consider making a donation of any size.
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE! (how cool is that?!)

For a $500 donation you’ll be sponsoring a musician with a roundtrip plane ticket, SFO to NY, and you’ll get a private concert in my home studio.

For a $300 donation you’ll be giving a big chunk towards a musician’s plane ticket and I’ll play on your recording!

With a $100 donation you’ll be paying a musician’s rehearsal fee and getting a DVD & two CDs.

For a $75 donation you’ll be covering most of a musician’s rehearsal fee
and getting a signed copy of the MY GRANDMOTHER score and DVD. You can watch the film and play along!

With a $25 donation you’ll receive our new CD Aguaplano to be released in the near future, includes new pieces and arrangements by myself and guitarist David James.

Don’t know my music? A $5 donation will get you a ‘grab bag’ of three of my songs.

Lots of other prizes to choose from, please consider contributing today, no donation is too small (or too large!)

And thanks very much,
Beth

Hey there,
I’m thrilled to announce that The Beth Custer Ensemble and special guests will be performing in New York on November 22nd as part of the Pacific Film Archive’s Georgian Film Retrospective. I’ve launched a Hatchfund crowdfunding campaign to get us there. Please check out the prizes, there’s lots to choose from including having me play on your composition, receiving a stack of my CDs including my latest re-release of ‘Respect as a Religion’ and future release of ‘Aguaplano.’ Or you can come hear a concert with a couple of your friends in my studio! Every donation helps and none are too large!!

I attended Harvey Wainapel’s concert last Friday at the California Jazz Conservatory for his wonderful Amigos Brasileros Vol. 2 CD release party. It was a great evening of music. As most of you know, Harvey joined Clarinet Thing a few years ago and he’s contributed a few Brazilian compositions to the group. Clarinet Thing will be at our favorite venue, The Berkeley Hillside Club on October 17th. Our last Hillside concert sold out so get there early for an evening of completely acoustic clarinet heaven! We are poised to record another CD, our third after the critically acclaimed Cry, Want, and the earlier Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks.

More good news~ the poignant William Farley documentary film Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish that I’ve been scoring for the past six months premieres at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Mill Valley on Sunday, October 5th at 2:30 and in San Rafael on Wednesday, October 8th at 5:30. I’m really proud of this project and hope you can make one of the screenings. I’ll be at both and I think there will be Q & A’s after each screening so you can harass me with compositional queries!

Thanks for reading this far and please consider donating to my Hatchfund. Think of all the Beth Custer releases you can give as gifts for the whole millennia!

Yours,
Beth

Lots to report, folks, thanks for checking in…hope you’re having a lovely summer.
I’m heading out soon to an annual yoga retreat in the Sierras, much needed respite from city life.

The Beth Custer Ensemble is working on a new CD, as yet untitled (‘Pants I Rode In On’?), for fall release. The fabulous Jeff Cressman is at the helm recording. We’re lucky to catch him home from the road, he’s often touring with Santana. Jeff is a dream to work with. He’s easy going, has a great sense of humor, and big ears, as musicians say to compliment other musicians!

Looking forward to our upcoming Freight show, August 9th, 8pm. This is a Respect as a Religion CD re-release party (as opposed to a ‘re-pressed’ party!). Long out of print, BC Records is re-issuing this fab CD with it’s underground hit ‘Empire of the United States’
composed in response to all the lies surrounding the 2003 invasion of Iraq and against imperialism in general. I figure it’s a good time to re-press….since nothing seems to change in that realm of things!

Looking further ahead into the future…my wonderful clarinet quartet, Clarinet Thing will be making a rare appearance October 17th at our favorite venue, the Berkeley Hillside Club. Mark your calendars and more deets on that soon.

Also working on a new CD with Trance Mission Trio. We’re hoping to get some fall dates so stay in touch about that. You can sign up on our FB page, like us, send us gifts even!

I’m winding up my latest freelance composing job for a documentary by a great filmmaker, Bill Farley. Watch here for details mid August as to it’s release date/place.

Ciao for now, lovely summer one and all,
Beth

Happy New Year, Year of the Horse: Power & Success!
When’s the last time you heard my crackshot ensemble or went out to hear live music at all?! It’s time…in the words of David Sedaris: treat yourself!
Some pals of mine will be in the house, Joy Cutler who’s got a play going up at the Pheonix Theatre and Priscilla Be’s visiting from Berlin!

The Beth Custer Ensemble
Friday, January 10th, 7:30-10pm
Red Poppy Art House

Percussionist Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra and I collaborated for on a two minute Vertov trailer performing live at the SF Silent Film Fest this past year and we’ll now be touring the east coast as the Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra with our fresh live scores to Ken Brown films Feb. 6-9.

Please check out (and buy!) my new releases on CD Baby:
Peter, Hometown, Folk, & Soundtracks for the Films of Cathy Lee Crane.

I wish you all a happy new year and hope I see you out there somewhere~
riding your horse.
XO
B

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