Primary Instrument: Violin
With three well-received recordings under his name featuring Tony Malaby, Todd Sickafoose, Scott Amendola, Devin Hoff, Art Hirahara, and Pete Forbes, John has also performed and recorded with an array of noteworthy artists over the years, including Honeycut (on DJ Shadow's Quannum Records); composer/clarinetist Beth Custer (on her CD Vinculum Symphony and the Hans Wendl-produced soundtrack to the 1929 Russian silent film My Grandmother); and vocalist Percy Howard (Incidental Seductions with Living Colour's Vernon Reid, King Crimson's Trey Gunn and This Heat's Charles Hayward). Ettinger served as a co-founding member of several bay area bands, including eclectic improv groups Overdriven Cultists (with Grassy Knoll members Dave Revelli and Jonathan Byerly) and electric jazz-jam band Hurlo Thrumbo (with Jon Preuss, Andrew Luthringer, and Tod Preuss). He has also performed in various other settings with The Scott Amendola Band, Beth Custer, Damon Smith, and Naut Humon and the Iso-Orchestra with Arto Lindsay and Eyvind Kang. Prior to moving to the Bay Area, Ettinger lived in Arizona, where he collaborated with several musicians, including Trio Discussions (with Rob Kaplan, and J. B. Smith), an improv group with whom he recorded an album produced by guitarist David Torn.
While in Arizona he also was a member of the Primavera String Quartet, Mariachi Continental Azteca, various community symphony orchestras, and a composer of music for Desert Dance Theatre, the Southwest's leading modern dance company. He played in over 50 musicals on either violin or bass. He was a professional bass player in Arizona through the 80's and early 90's until his move to San Francisco. In 1987 he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz performance on violin from Arizona State University. John was born in Detroit, raised in Arizona, and eventually migrated to the San Francisco bay area where he now lives with his wife and two daughters.
DownBeat Magazine: Free improvisation and modern composition are among the hallmarks of Kissinger In Space, John Ettinger's fine sophomore release. 3 1/2 stars. -Eric Fine, DownBeat Magazine, March 2007
All Music Guide (4 stars): John Ettinger, a versatile violinist based in the San Francisco Bay area, has in the past played with rock and avant-garde groups so he has a very open style. On Kissinger In Space, he mixes together lyrical melodies with free playing while emphasizing catchy yet unpredictable rhythms, close interplay with tenor-saxophonist Tony Malaby, group improvising and quirky themes that take their time to develop...the music is fairly accessible and concise if full of constant surprises. It takes a few listens to fully appreciate this diverse and colorful music for it follows its own intriguing logic. Recommended. - Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com
Inquatica - with Pete Forbes
Kissinger in Space - with Tony Malaby, Devin Hoff, and Scott Amendola
August Rain - with Art Hirahara, Todd Sickafoose and Scott Amendola
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