Desert Island Jazz
Show All
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • Beth Custer (2014)

    Visit Website

    San Francisco-based composer, performer, bandleader and producer Beth Custer has been at the forefront of the Bay Area's improvised music scene for many years.

    Beth has some 40 recordings, a number easier to comprehend when you count the number of projects she is or has been involved with: Eighty Mile Beach, Clarinet Thing, Transmission, and so on, all the way back to Club Foot Orchestra, which performed live to silent movies in the 1980s.

    Beth has always been a force, composing for chamber ensembles such as Turtle Island and Kronos, and for theater productions by the likes of Magic Theatre and California Shakespeare Theater. She's also written for a lot of dance companies, and her installations have been lauded. She has a real gift for film work, too. The Pacific Film Archive commissioned her to compose a live score for "My Grandmother", a rare Soviet-era silent film.

    Beth has moved in and out of our creative music scene, performing with Fred Frith, Tin Hat, Miya Masaoka, Tango No. 9, ROVA, Violent Femmes, John Schott and Will Bernard among others. She's such a polymath that you have to read this far in order to learn that she plays all the clarinets and the piano, and also sings.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble Jodoji Brightness The Hand That Signed The Paper Antilles
    # 2 Kamikaze Ground Crew The Scenic Route Funeral Oration New World Records
    # 3 Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring/The King of the Stars, Mens' Chorus of the New England Conservatory with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas conductor The Rite of Spring Deutsche Grammophon
    # 4 Keziah Jones Black Orpheus Kpafuca EMI France
    # 5 Kate & Anna McGarrigle Matapedia Why Must We Die? Hannibal Records
    # 6 The Jazz Passengers In Love I'll Pray For You High Street/Windham Hill Records
    # 7 Beth Custer Train Song The Shirt I Slept In BC Records
    # 8 Duke Ellington Blues in Orbit Blues in Orbit Columbia
    # 9 Miles Davis Kind of Blue Freddie Freeloader Columbia
    # 10 Beth Custer not commercially available Barrish Opening not commercially available
    # 11 Rickie Lee Jones Ghostyhead Road Kill Mercury/Warner Bros
    Book Patricia Highsmith, "The Complete Ripley Novels"
    Luxury Item "A combination hot tub/sauna/masseuse ... [and] a chocolate dispenser"
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun