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Improvising guitarist Jefferson Pitcher, born in Redwood City, California, in 1972, is a modern composer and sound and video artist residing in Northern California. One of his earliest and most enduring influences is Jorge Strunz, with whom he studied for many years. Pitcher holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from the University of California-Davis. He has a lengthy history of performing and recording on the West Coast indie rock scene as a singer/songwriter, where he fronted the band Above the Orange Trees. During his teenage years, Pitcher was a part of the San Francisco Bay Area punk scene, playing in bands and attending volunteer meetings at the now legendary 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley. Pitcher has released music on the Camera Obscura (Australia), Moonpalace (Spain), and Dutch East India, Words on Music, and Tract (U.S.A.) labels. He has toured as a soloist and in numerous ensembles, and has recorded and performed with Pauline Oliveros, Scott Amendola, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Okkyung Lee, Christian Kiefer, Mike Bullock, Tim Keiper, David Gibson, Kristina Forester, Ron Guensche, Sarah Jo Zaharako, and others. He plays primarily electric guitar, making sounds like birds, boats, engines, and whales gliding in and out of a dense fog. Although much of his work explores feedback and prepared guitar, he also draws heavily from his love for melody, as well as the simplicity of minimalist composers. His diverse influences outside music include the writings of Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Ernest Hemingway. Musical favorites are Philip Glass, John Cage, Brian Eno, Kelly Joe Phelps, Niño Josele, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, and Sigur Rós. Pitcher is involved in a collaborative project about American presidential history with Christian Kiefer and Matthew Gerken. His video The Winter of the Dance was shown at the Ann Arbor, Nashville, Sonoma Valley, and Palm Springs film festivals. Pitcher is a graduate fellow in the electronic arts department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He is married to visual artist and author Keri Smith. ~ Michael G. Nastos
1972 in Redwood City, CA