Clarinet Thing

Clarinet Thing is a chamber quartet of jazz clarinetists featuring Sheldon Brown, Beth Custer, Ben Goldberg, Harvey Wainapel. Clarinet Thing performs arrangements of unusual jazz works and originals on almost the entire family of clarinets, from the baby Eb clarinet up to the large contra alto clarinet. Clarinet and jazz enthusiasts of all ages abound at their concerts.

Founded by Beth Custer in 1989, Clarinet Thing has amassed a large repertoire in it’s twenty years of performing including tunes by Herbie Nichols, Carla Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, Thelonious Monk, Eubie Blake, Abdullah Ibrahim, Alexandre Stellio, Duke Ellington, and many others. Original compositions by band members are also performed.

“Clarinet Thing’s first CD Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks was chosen the Top 10 CDs of Bay Area Jazz Artists:
Features 16 lush and woody tracks the startlingly beautiful music is pithy and expansive like a great collection of short stories.”
—Andrew Gilbert, SF Chronicle

“Clarinet Thing is a killer quartet that plays a rich woody lend of original music, Ellingtonia, Brazilian choro…and other pieces that pop and sway with the pregnant sound of an improvising clarinet choir.” 
—Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle

Watch for a new Clarinet Thing CD to be released in the spring of 2009. Sign up on Beth Custer’s home page for gig announcements.


»MP3 • Clarinet Thing live at the KPFA Crafts & Music Fair, December 9, 2006, (45 min)