Mal Sharpe has a posse



Mr. Sharpe, who was well known in the Bay Area for his wacky interviews and also as a jazz trombonist, died on March 10 at his home in Berkeley, Calif. He was 83. His daughter, Jennifer Sharpe, said his health had diminished since he underwent heart surgery three and a half years ago.

(this thing might hang together slightly better if I mention that I once spoofed Shepard Fairey and Mal Sharpe by cajoling Rob Syrett to do a depiction of Mal Sharpe — the humorist, radio host and trombone musician — a la Fairey and his Andre the Giant Has A Posse campaign AND I had uploaded that image rather than this other Syrett masterpiece… for the sake of argument lets say creature on the right is me and creature on the left, the tall distinguished looking one is my trombone teacher Mal Sharpe)

— On Mon, 11/1/10, Garchik, Leah wrote:

From: Garchik, Leah
Subject: RE: swordfish trombone
To: “mark weiss”
Date: Monday, November 1, 2010, 4:03 PM

Thanks Mark. Jacob just played here last week in SFJAZZ, with Steve Lehmann octet. Very proud mom,

Leah Garchik
San Francisco Chronicle
—–Original Message—–
From: mark weiss []
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2010 4:00 PM
To: Garchik, Leah
Subject: swordfish trombone

you look too well preserved for anyone to guess you gave birth to a trombone…
mark weiss

and here is my post on wedge’s site:

This entry had me wondering the name of the female trombone player who collaborates with Jeff Parker in Isotope — Sara P. Smith — something common like that, Baker, Smith, whatever, and then somehow led me to discover that Leah Garchik, the Sf Chronicle gossip columnist, has a son Jacob Garchik who plays the bone
And he plays radio producer


I track First Amendment (no establishment, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech) especially as it pertains to the arts. As such I want to add this to the data-base — it belongs with today’s main post about the Buskers congress but I am hedging so I am tucking it safely back here. Meanwhile, I am seeing R

submitted this sort of to garchik today:
definitely want to see ochs film, hope to make it for director appearance.
good quote in garchik garymey today about rock of ages — i had a funny conversation with an older lady doing phone sales for SHN who i had to explain that it was “R E O Speedwagon” and not “Rio Speedwagon”…
mark weiss

Leave a Redeemed patch

edit to add, the next day:
mark, why don’t you put me on the guest list, if you don’t mind–if you have one. I want to see this art piece. For some reason I reallly have a connection with Andre the Giant although I cannot remember what it is. I remember when he was wrestling etc. what is this art piece anyhow?

On Jan 23, 2008 5:46 PM, mark weiss wrote:
Hi, Brad.
Thanks for doing this. Let me know if you want to be
the mc like we discussed or just want to be on guest
list. I’m happy to keep a low profile at event, run
around the house checking on other stuff.

Here is the press release for show. If you want to do
more research you can try Glenn Hartman at
504-#$^&**##% and Steven Bernstein at l;akdf;lksadj.

I can get you the cd somehow if there is still time to
use that. It came out Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Steve sent
me a few copies.


The show is:

Sunday, Jan. 27 at Bottom of the Hill: Earthwise
Productions Jazz Showcase featuring Steven Bernstein’s
Diaspora Suite, Glenn Hartman Jazz Playboys. Doors, 7
p.m. Show, 8 p.m. $10. 21+ Info: (650) 857-xxxx.

Bottom of the Hill is 1233 17th Street San Francisco.

Steven Bernstein cd comes out Jan. 22, 2008 on Tzadik
Records. The live band features nine musicians
including Steven Bernstein, Jeff Cressman, Scott
Amendola, Ben Goldberg, Josh Jones, Devin Hoff, Paul
Hanson, John Schott & David James. The cd is fourth in
a series of “Diaspora” sessions.

Glenn Hartman is founding member of New Orleans
Klezmer All-Stars. He relocated to San Francisco in
the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is the
“Professor Longhair of accordion,” some they say.

Earthwise Productions is concert and artist management
company founded in Palo Alto in 1994 by Mark Weiss. It
produced a fabled series of more than 150 concerts at
Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto. This is
“Earthwise Productions 10-Year Anniversary Show.”

There will also be a special art auction to benefit
Habitat For Humanity New Orleans Musicians Village
featuring pieces created or donated by Robert Syrette,
Eric Cohen and others: “Mal Sharpe Has A Posse.”

For more info, contact Mark Weiss at (650) 857-xxxx.


I’ve known Steven for about 10 years. I interviewed
him for my radio show, by phone, about a year ago. I
have never worked with him before this event, however.
I first heard about him because Sex Mob was booked by
my friend Eric Hanson, from whom I got shows by Steve
Lacy and Tin Hat Trio, and because his first cds were
on Ropeadope who at the time were a small label run by
friends of Medeski Martin and Wood, who had played
Cubberley, in 1997. I saw him play a couple times in
New York, at Tonic and Jazz Standard, during my
sabbatical in Brooklyn in winter, 2001. Also, he knows
Henry Butler from their days together in the “Kansas
City” the movie Altman film band, and I bonded with
him in that context during my stint as Henry’s
manager, in 2002. I saw him at Charlie Hunter Band
show at Yoshi’s last month and that gave me the idea
of bringing him out for this event.

Glenn Hartman was also a recent guest, and played live
on the air, on my KZSU show. I knew Glenn because
NOKAS had played Cubberley twice, back in the day.
About a year and a half ago, the Klezmers were on
Sedge Thompson’s show and I happened to catch it.
Sedge introduced the band and Glenn said “I relocated
to San Francisco after Katrina so call me if anybody
has some gigs.” When I heard that I vowed I would
reach out to him as my own little reaction to what
happened in NOLA.

Please note also that there is an art auction as part
of the proceedings. That event is called “Mal Sharpe
Has A Posse.” The centerpiece of the show is a piece
also called “Mal Sharpe Has A Posse,” by the Palo Alto
based visual artist Robert Syrette. Robert works at
Accent Arts and did a poster for me this summer. The
concept of the piece is that a guy named Shepherd
Fairey become somewhat famous for a series of pieces
called either “Obey the Giant” or “Andre the Giant Has
a Posse.” We are sort of riffing on that. I saw Mal
Sharpe at the Charlie Hunter show and since I am an
admirer of his, I chatted with both Steven and Charlie
backstage about the fact that Mal was in the house.
Mal doesn’t know, I don’t think, that he is somehow
represented at my event. His KCSM show, which of
course is called “Back On Basin Street”, runs from 9
to 11 on Sundays, so he probably couldn’t make the
event. I was thinking of inviting him to soundcheck,
especially to see the piece (maybe he will buy it…).

There is some kind of theme or promoter’s conceit or
construct about Steven’s work being called “diaspora”
and Glenn having fled New Orleans because of the
flood. Mal Sharpe does indeed have a posse in that a
lot of musicians who are loosely related to each other
are concerned about the fate of our country, our
scene, jazz and New Orleans.

This is about the 250th Earthwise concert, I think.
I’ve lost exact count. It’s the first one in a while.
Also, if it does well, I hope Ramona Downey of Bottom
of the Hill will let me do another one.

The show will also feature some “earth-motif” balloons
courtesy of The Balloon Lady, my neighbor Marie
Mandoli. Maybe there will be enough for everyone to
take one as a party favor.

Thanks for doing this, and for working for scale.

Mark Weiss
dba Earthwise

Feel free to quote from this as necessary.

I think Duck Baker is writing on this if you want to
trade notes with him.


very intriguing. see you there.

On 1/24/08, mark weiss wrote:
Hi, Mal.
Thanks for NOT picking me up over your head and
twirling me like a rag doll and then smashing me down
to the matt like the — I think they call it a
helicopter — bad little
fake music imp that I am.

Of course you could be on the list! You can welcome
the peeps, if you like — if you can wrestle the mic
away from Brad Kava, that is. Like I said, I can see
about you sneaking into soundcheck, to see Bernstein.
(just don’t stare at his trombone player!)

Maybe we can give you a live update to “Basin Street”
via cell phone.

You can bug Robert Syrette at 650.XXX-XXXX* if you have
any further info on the ACTUAL Mal Sharpe – Andre the
Giant connection. Once again, life imitates art
imitates life imitates crab or something.

Mark Weiss

in addition to the being on the guest list, there is a
dollar rebate in cash for anybody who brings in the
Jewish Music Festival “enewsletter” — that’s better
than free!!

Also, I’ll forward you the email file that Robert did
for another poster this summer.

too late to play it on the show. What time should I show up at bottom of the hill. I am done at the No Name at 6:30.

On 1/24/08, mark weiss wrote:
that’s entertainment…

or it could also be “tikkum olam” the jewish concept
of repairing the world….

i like my line about “life imitating art imitating
life imitating crab” — to risk being too
self-impressed. I wish I had said “imitating Crazy
Crab” the SF Giants mock-mascot — invented, I
believe, by Jon Crawford — now that is a work.

I am just the poor man’s (meaning born too late to
benefit directly from Reagonomics) Danny Scher…

you are on the list.,,i’ll update you about the
soundchecks if you might want to hear the headliners,
also i can let you have a copy of the cd you might
play on your show…


i have sworn off mc’ing anything anymore. i just want to be the fly on the wall except with my band which is no burden for me. Is the mal’s possee thing on the scale of andre the giant or just some piece for this event. I can’t picture being the bizarre image that Andre is or was.

On Jan 24, 2008 3:53 PM, mark weiss wrote:
man you are one busy dude on sundays. come any time.
for general public it is doors at 7 but you are
special category, or staff/talent or guest. hartmans
play at 8 and bernsteins at 915.

bottom is easy access from 280 mariposa exit. from
golden gate bridge etc maybe you want to take 19th
avenue to 280 and double back? but it is easy access
to freeway. 1233 17th street in potrero hill.

maybe you want to narrate the art auction and describe
what you see in each piece, including the “mal sharpe
has a posse” piece. not conduct an auction — its
silent — just add some commentary. let me know.
there’s hopefully four or five pieces.


Mark—I apologize for being a no show last night. I finished playing at the No Name and headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge—the wind and rain was so fierce as I was leaving Sausalito that I had to turn back and go home to Berkeley via the San Raphael Bridge. That was no picnic either. I owe you one and thanks for doing your best to accommodate me. Let me know when you’re doing another event and I will give you big, big plug. I hope the music went well and that the folks who braved the storm enjoyed themselves. cheers–Mal

On Jan 25, 2008 11:36 AM, mark weiss wrote:
Mr. Sharpe:
Please come as our guest. I realize that Sundays are
quite tightly booked for you, but isn’t it great that
The Bottom of The Hill seems to route so conveniently
between No Name and KCSM?

“Mal Sharpe Has A Posse” is an immense underground art
conspiracy. It started with a piece by Robert Syrett,
but has expanded to include an entire art event
spanning over two or three whole hours with works by
Syrett, Matt Gonzales (whose contribution is more
abstract, more like a collage), Cassie Gay (whose
contribution is more floral and fauna-esque than
Warholian or Shepherd Fairey-esque) and Eric Cohen
(whose piece is called “unfinished sketch for
unfinished sculpture called ‘chocolate city'”) but we
will let the listeners decide for themselves who or
what is more bizarre compared to life itself or Andre
The Giant.


Mark Weiss

I hope I am not scaring you off. I also just invited
my old boss J_____ and said I will match his
contribution if he buys “Mal Sharpe Has A Posse.”

After more than a year, we are heading back to Enrico’s. Yes, this Sunday, March 8, Big Money in Jazz will playing for the debut of the mouthwatering new Sunday Brunch at Enrico’s; 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Make reservations at…

We’ll have the same band that played there for over 10 years. Lawrence Hyman on trumpet. He studied with the great Rex Stewart of the Ellington Band. Lawrence usually brings his New York savor faire to the proceedings although rumor has it he has his traded in his savor faire for a Prius. (Savor Faire never got him anywhere anyhow.)

On guitar, Bill DeKuiper. Bill is the backbone and tibia of our band. He toured with Dan Hicks and has his own world renowned group, Hot House. There’s a Bill with the Parrots but that’s not him.

The Femur of the band is David Giampietro on clarinet. In North Beach he is known as David Antipasto. Subtle sounds with hint of Garlic. (He promises to gargle before the gig.) David will play the tune he wrote for Peggy Lee, “You Give me Femur.”

The Clavicle, will be our drummer, Carmen Cansino. Those are not drumsticks, they are clavicles—stolen from the graveyard of dead drummers in Colma. That is why Colma is called “The City that never sleeps.”

On the bass, we have a relative new comer although he is not a relative, he’s is Blake Richardson. He is the backbone of the Christmas Jug Band which sells out venues around Northern California during the Xmas season. Since we already have a backbone, he will be the sternum of the group. I always enjoy his wicked smile or perhaps it just that his jawbone is broken.

Then there is me, Mal Sharpe—because I am the bandleader, most of the musicians know me as the thigh bone; that’s because I am connected to the hip bone which is connected to the trombone. (I just drifted into this bone thing but check out this fantastic link)

Enrico’s is a great place to be for a noontime brunch—new menu, new Mimosas and Bloody Marys. The new chef has received great reviews. The staff is friendly. You can look out at the hoi poli strolling down Broadway, and up above there’s the TransAmerica Tower… and out there, in the blue yonder, is the ever changing SF skyline…. and behind the band, the Mural from the Old Spaghetti Factory with it’s Greek chorus of 1958 bohemians checking out the latest hipsters to hit North Beach. Hey, that’s you.


The Coyle and Sharpe Podcast—-New
To listen to or download recent programs:


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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