Lisa Mezzacappa is a San Francisco Bay Area-based composer, bassist, bandleader, and producer. Called “one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene” by The Mercury News and “a Bay Area treasure” by KQED public radio, she has been an active part of California’s vibrant music community for more than 18 years. Mezzacappa’s activities as a composer and bandleader include ethereal chamber music, electro-acoustic works, avant-garde jazz, music for groups from duo to large ensemble, and collaborations with film, dance and visual art.
Recent projects include avantNOIR, a suite for sextet inspired by noir fiction; Organelle, a chamber suite for improvisers grounded in scientific processes on micro and cosmic scales; Glorious Ravage, an evening-length song cycle for large ensemble and films drawn from the writings of Victorian lady adventurers; and Touch Bass, a collaboration with choreographer Risa Jaroslow for three dancers and three bassists. Current projects include a suite for sextet inspired by Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics stories about the origins of the universe; the new duo B. Experimental Band which performs original compositions for improvisers bimonthly in Oakland, CA; and premiering in 2019, The Electronic Lover, an opera podcast created in collaboration with writer Beth Lisick.
Mezzacappa has released her music on the New World, Clean Feed, NoBusiness, Leo, and NotTwo record labels, and her work has been supported on the national level by the MAP Fund, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund, and the Andy Warhol Foundation; and by Bay Area funders the Wattis Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Intermusic SF. She has been artist-in-residence at the Cité International des Arts in Paris, Fr; Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Headlands Center for the Arts and the Banff International Jazz Workshop. She was a participant in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, a program of American Composers Orchestra and the Jazz Studies Institute at Columbia University.