Doc at the Cadillac Hotel
E. Doctor Smith - Zendrum EXP
"Doc" began his musical journey as a teenager playing percussion in the District of Columbia Youth Orchestra and in Maryland’s Montgomery County Youth Orchestra. Inspired by the Miles Davis fusion bands of the mid-70s, he continued his studies with Paul Sears, drummer of the Muffins. His first group, Oranus Rey, featured guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Ed Howard, and saxophonist Tim Chambers. In 1980 Doc moved to New York where he met fellow Music Building tenants Madonna and her co-writer, Stephen Bray. With Bray, Doc performed in the Breakfast Club and The Same. The Same was produced by Brian Eno and featured keyboardist Carter Burwell, guitarist Chip Johannsen, singer Clodagh Simmons, bassist Stanley Adler, and the motto "Semper Mutants." Following Bray and Madonna to Los Angeles, Doc assisted on many of Madonna's biggest albums as well as other of Bray's projects including Nick Kamen, Gladys Knight, The Breakfast Club, Brian Ferry, and Steel Pulse. In L.A. Doc’s sound engineering skills were honed in sessions working alongside Michael Verdick and Tony Shepperd. Back on the East Coast, Doc performed with the New England groups K2, Flash to Bangtime, and Feat of Clay using a Simmons kit he called the “Beast." Inspired by that of British drummer Bill Bruford, Doc’s 12-piece kit was the first embodiment of his love of digital drums. In 1995, as a member of the trio Between The Lines, Doc designed and built the Drummstick, a percussion controller consisting rather humbly of a 2x6 piece of wood with 16 finger-pads. Borne of a desire to walk on stage, plug in and play like a guitarist, while accessing his beloved and virtually infinite world of digital sounds, Doc’s Drummstick developed a life of its own. In 2000 Doc debuted his first CD of original music, The Drummstick, with his band of the same name, which featured core members Jack Wright on guitar, Neil Mezebish on horns, and Celia DuBose on bass. That year he also performed using the Drummstick with guitar legends including Bon Lozago of Gongzilla, Tom Principato, Bill Kirchen, Paul Bollenback, as well as bansurist John Wubbenhorst, tabla master Sandip Burman, and the famed Flecktone, Howard Levy. After moving to San Francisco in 2002, Doc performed at the Edgetone New Music Summit of 2006 with horn player Eric Dahlman. The summer of 2007 saw the release of a new Drummstick 2 CD, a long-distance collaboration with the original Drummstick band and other musical friends (and the re-release of his first Drummstick CD) on Edgetone Records. Doc also produced and performed on an Edgetone release entitled Robert Anbian and UFQ: the Unidentified Flying Quartet. This timely and troubling work of jazz and poetry features poet Robert Anbian, and original UFQ members saxophonist Charles Unger, keyboardist Sam Peoples, and bassist Mike Shea.

In the winter of 2007, Doc began playing his signature series
Zendrum ZX and continued collaborating with the 7 string bass virtuoso Edo Castro. In June of 2008, Doc released his fourth album on Edgetone, “K2”, with long time partners Seth Elgart, Neil Mezebish and Castro, followed by "Live", also on Edgetone with Castro. Doc also continues to perform with Castro, as well as a variety of jazz groups, including the Maki-Smith Duo, with Nora Maki, the UFQ, the Wilbur Rehmann Quartet, the UF2 with Sam Peoples, and the McQuarry, Kleinman & Smith Trio featuring keyboardist Steve McQuarry and bassist Craig Kleinman. "Quantum" was Doc's latest work and his sixth album on the Edgetone Records label. Quantum reunites Smith with his former Drummstick band mate, guitarist Jack Wright (Quantum Kids, Temporal Chaos Project) and features Quantum Kids' bassist, Tom Shiben, and Smith's Feat of Clay co-founder, trumpeter Eric Dahlman. In this collaboration, Smith’s unique fusion approach to the new Zendrum EXP MIDI percussion controller (the first commercially sold EXP, designed by David Haney of the Zendrum Corporation), splash blends with Wright's inspired guitar work and looping mastery to create music swirling between the subtle, the beautiful, the incendiary. The result is Quantum, a mix of progressive rock and jazz with ambient and otherworldly sounds. Doc recently completed a tour with bassist Jason Everett’s Deep Energy Orchestra, featuring Trey Gunn of King Crimson on Warr guitar, guitarist Fareed Haque of Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds band, Radhika Iyer on electric violin, Phil Hirschi of the Mahavishnu Orchestra on cello, Chaz Hastings on tabla, Rachel Nesvig on violin and Aleida Gehrels on viola. Doc's latest projects are with bansurist John Wubbenhorst and his group Facing East"FutureJazz”, his seventh album on the Edgetone Records label with guitarist Peter McKibben, and flautist Laura Austin WileySteve McQuarry's Echelon, and the Trio Elecrique, featuring violinist Michele Walther of McQuarry's Resonance Jazz octet. Doc of course performs regularly with the latest incarnation of the UFQ, featuring flautist Laura Austin Wiley, guitarist David McFarland and bassist Edo Castro Woodhouse.

Edo Castro Woodhouse
Edo Castro Woodhouse - 7 String Bass
"My interest in music was sparked when my aunts would play records; I joined them on the floor, listening to their curated picks and glossing over the album covers. Peter Paul and Mary, Broadway shows, and other pop music of the late 50’s and early 60’s. I liked what heard. As a child, music also became my refuge by going into a quiet room and making up frivolous melodies created out of an emotional response. This would prove valuable to me later on in life and music. Perhaps the most seminal event to change my life is one of my aunts married Reice Hamel, a “remote recording engineer,” who recorded live music in nightclubs. He drove around with VW Van with recording gear that he configured for portability: tape machines, speakers, microphones, and a mixing console. Back in the day, there was nothing portable about a mixing console, they were huge and bulky. Because he was an electrical engineer in a previous life, he also knew how to tool sheet metal so he crafted circuit boards to fit into his portable one-of-a-kind mixer. Reice recorded many great artists, including Judy Garland, B.B. King, Ramsey Lewis, Thelonious Monk, and a very young Barbara Streisand. But the most fascinating recordings were his jazz records. He gave me my first jazz records at the age of 8 years. I loved them immediately. I spent several days making feeble attempts to recreate these sounds on the piano, but was unable to. Not to be dissuaded, I ended up taking piano lessons. To my chagrin, I soon realized that I hated practicing, nonetheless I entertained myself by making up things and imitating jazz as I knew it then.

During high school, my friends started a band. They already had a drummer, 2 guitars and a piano player, but no bass player. My friend Richard handed me the bass and said “you should play this.” From that moment on, I was smitten. The bass was fun and I took to it right away. However, true to my piano and guitar skills, I had difficulty learning bass parts. I stuck with it because I wanted to be in a band. I realized when I listened to music, I didn’t distinguish the parts, but rather just heard it as a whole event. At some point it started to click and I could start distinguishing the bass parts – I ran with it! Fast forward… I’m now 18 years old and was still playing the piano, rather poorly I might add. Even though I managed to eek out bass lines and chords with some credibility I still wasn’t quite good enough to play in a band. At the same time I was teaching myself guitar with the same approach: fumbling with method books and begging anyone to show me a few things on the guitar. The guitar was portable and, for all intents and purposes, a way to “look cool.” Like the piano, my guitar skill were meek at best. Unable to learn any songs, I just made up my own. After I had been playing the bass for 3 years, I decided to go to music school. I think my teachers knew I was lean on experience, but they allowed me to flourish in their classes regardless. Around 1977, I started to hear what I wanted to do on the bass in my head, but just couldn’t get the ideas from head to the bass. Little did I know that one day (twenty years later) my ideas would be realized on my 7 string bass. Today, I’m still looking for new ways to push the envelope with my ideas. My bass guitar collection also includes a few 8 and 9 string basses, but they’re more for my personal pleasure of exploration. It’s been an interesting journey to find my voice through my bass – what I do with this instrument has very little to do with bass playing. It’s more about being my own little orchestra, writing and arranging on the instrument, for the instrument..."

David McFarland
David McFarland - Guitars
David McFarland is a jazz guitarist and composer. He began playing blues, R & B, Pop, Rock & Fusion around the Detroit club circuit during his teens. After moving to San Francisco, he studied with Mimi Fox, Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert, Tuck Andress, and Jonathan Kreisberg. He has performed and played with notable Bay Area musicians such as Randy Vincent, Steve McQuarry, Ted Burik, Doc Smith, Laura Wiley, Craig Kleinman, Edo Castro, Greg German, and many others. David plays a blend of modern and traditional jazz.

Laura Austin Wiley
Laura Austin Wiley - Flutes
"I’m a writer, musician and visual artist living in Northern California. I grew up in rural Indiana in a farmhouse that was built in 1850. We had horses, chickens, rabbits, goats, cats and dogs, and various other animals. The landscape was a rich source of inspiration for drawing, writing and musical expression. I come from an artistic family, and we made our own entertainment much of the time. In middle school, I began to sing and play the flute. In high school, I was involved in drama, musical theater, choir, band and orchestra. That was also the time when I began keeping a journal and writing on a regular basis. I went to Columbia University in New York City for college, earning a B.A. in English. Right after graduation, I moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area, where began eventually earned my Master’s degrees in English and Music. I taught English at Berkeley City College for a while, and now teach private lessons in English and flute. These days, I perform as a flutist and singer with a variety of ensembles, including the Laura Austin Wiley Quintet and the Wiley McFarland Duo. I have CDs of jazz standards and my original compositions for sale on CD Baby. I’ve written three novels, Playing Hooky, Close Enough for Jazz and Blackberry Moon. I also have a book of short stories out (Jitterbug Waltz), and a book of poems (Hoosier Fossils). As a solo performer, I’ve written and developed two one-woman shows, Panic and Driven Bananas, which I’ve performed around the Bay Area. My books are available on Amazon. When I’m not singing, playing the flute, writing or drawing, I enjoy hiking with my husband and talking to my six cats..."