Musicians: If you’re performing regularly in Sausalito and we have not listed you, we don’t mention where to buy your album or singles, or if something below looks incorrect, please let us know!
Sausalito Musicians and Bands
We’ve compiled this alphabetical list of Sausalito musicians and bands, all of whom play here regularly and some of whom are based here. Click on the band or musician’s name to open their personal website or their page on a music website etc. We have also provided videos for some of the better known bands and those who have performed here the longest. Where we could find links for online CD sales we will be adding them below as time permits.
Insiders Tip: The Bay Area and Marin music scene is a large “small industry” where everyone knows each other. Attending a performance by one of the musicians below may also mean hearing others on this list who are playing backup that night and then headlining the next evening at a different club.
The 7th Sons — North Bay band that covers the hit rock music of the 1960’s and 1970’s, with outstanding guitar work and drums. They play at a variety of Sausalito venues, most recently at the Presidio Yacht Club.
Michael Aragon Quartet — A highly regarded local jazz musician and session performer, Aragon and his quartet have been performing Friday nights at the No Name Bar for many years, with both locals and visitors in the audience. His musical roots in Sausalito, however, date back to at least 1969 with Gale Garnett and the Gentle Reign’s Sausalito Heliport album, putting him in the same founding class as Joe Tate, Bill Champlin and the late Dan Hicks.
Seth Asarnow and Marcelo Puig — Although Asarnow and Puig both have had distinguished solo careers (e.g. Asarnow has appeared at Davies Symphony Hall with members of the San Francisco Symphony), they have for many years frequently teamed to play Milonga and other forms of tango music at different Sausalito venues. They currently perform each Wednesday evening at the Sausalito Seahorse. You can download an Asarnow collaboration CD here.
Lynn Asher — One of the strongest rock vocalists in the Bay Area, with credits that include playing with Big Brother & the Holding Co. (on songs they originally performed with their band member Janis Joplin on vocals) and with Narada Michael Walden. She also teaches voice to a limited number of students and has appeared at major charity fundraisers. You can buy her CD or individual tracks here.
Barrio Manouche — Talented, unique Bay Area Flamenco gypsy jazz band with influences (to my ears) ranging from Gypsy Kings to Chucho Valdes to Jean-Luc Ponty, and in their liner notes they also refer to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. After one song you may think you’ve heard someone like them before, but after three or four songs you’ll realize this is something completely new and that the level of talent is very high. They perform occasionally in Sausalito at various venues, most recently at Divino. You can buy their CD’s (they have released three albums) or individual tracks here.
Blue Monday Band — See “Joe Tate”
Ray Caprial — A pianist, composer and teacher, Caprial started as a studio musician and performer in LA but then came to his senses and moved here to the Bay Area. He appears regularly in Sausalito at The Trident.
Daniel Castro Band — Castro is a talented blues guitarist and vocalist with a lifelong commitment to a BB King style tinged with Latin and country, and with the Eagles’ complex moods. Performing at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay 2017. You can buy their CD’s (they have three albums) or individual tracks here.
Gabrielle Cavassa — Sultry jazz vocalist whose style shows influences from classic stars like Billie Holliday and Julie London, and sometimes will make you think of Diana Krall or Amy Winehouse. She is most often heard performing in Sausalito at Divino,
Norris Clement — Talented local pianist with a fascinating life story who performs most often in Sausalito at Divino.
Con Quimba, with Rosa Los Santos and Pedro Rosales — Duo with long careers in playing music of the Peruvian coast. They most often perform in Sausalito at Divino.
Ken Cook Trio — Pianist, composer and arranger Ken Cook plays jazz, blues and Latin with his trio, and also gigs with other musicians listed on this page. The trio is most often heard in Sausalito at Divino, but he may perform at any of our music venues.
Shana Dinha — Young jazz vocalist with an incredible warm voice and the ability to deliver classics a la Julie London or Nancy Wilson or newer styles like Diana Krall. Although early in her career, she has worked with Josh Groban, Mickey Thomas, Michelle Williams and Deitrick Haddon. Has performed locally at Divino.
Smith Dobson — Jazz pianist and band leader who has played with both his trio and his quartet in Sausalito. His recording career includes session work with many jazz greats as well as recording his oln albums. Appears most often in Sausalito at Divino with his trio.
Duo Violao Brasil — Brazilian guitar duo who pass through Sausalito occasionally, most recently at Divino. Their music includes traditional Brazilian pieces and (to my ear) echoes of Hector Villa Lobos.
Walter Earl Trio — Veteran jazz pianist, studio musician and recording artist Walter Earl began his career studying with stars like Joe Sample, and in addition to recording his own albums he has worked with many jazz legends. He has a unique cool jazz sound. You’re most likely to find him in Sausalito at Divino.
The Gaters — See “Joe Tate”
Paula Harris — Blues, ballad and funk singer with a big voice and stage presence that makes me picture Tower of Power with a female lead singer. Performing at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay 2017.
The Hippie Voices — See “Joe Tate”
David Jeffrey Fourtet — Jazz group assembled by bassist David Jeffrey. On a given night it features a top Bay Area sax player on both original jazz charts and on classics. They perform most often in Sausalito at Divino.
Noel Jewkes — Veteran jazz interpreter, arranger, composer, sax player and front man who has for years organized a rotating set of top musicians who now perform each Tuesday evening at the Sausalito Seahorse.
Joe Kaline and The Beat Meters — Band with its own take on the intersection of jazz, pop and funk, performing both original music and unique covers. Most often appearing in Sausalito at Taste of Rome.
Jesse Lee Kincaid — Based in southern Marin, Kincaid started his career in a young rock band with Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal, and as a songwriter has had a song recorded recently by Don Henley. He has a relaxed folk-rock style, and most often appears in Sausalito at the No Name Bar.
Doc Kraft Dance Band — Long-time “hardest working band in town” that has appeared in many Sausalito venues. Their repertoire covers hundreds of songs from multiple styles and eras.
Michael LaMacchia — Because of his diverse repertoire you may hear LaMacchia playing rock, jazz or Latin music. He has led or played in a number of local bands and appears in a variety of venues.
Curtis Lawson & Friends — One of the most prominent blues artists in the Bay Area, Lawson has been performing in different Sausalito clubs for many years. This year he’s again performing at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay 2017.
Kate Mills — Well known New York singer-songwriter whose sound has been compared to Grace Potter and Sara Bareilles who also adds a layer of country on some of her original songs. Has appeared with Carrie Welling and Kasey Williams in Sausalito at Divino.
Pasion Habanera — (Often misspelled Passion Habanera) Performs traditional Cuban jazz and folk music (two terms that in Cuba are close to synonyms). If you aren’t familiar with the style, check out Buena Vista Social Club. Pasion Habanera (“Havana Passion”) most often performs in Sausalito at Divino or the Presidio Yacht Club.
Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra — Talented group re-creating the concept of the classic Soul Reviews in the spirit of Motown and its rival labels. Performing at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay 2017.
Marcelo Puig — See “Seth Asarnow”
The Redlegs — See “Joe Tate”
Pamela Rose & the Beasts of Blues — A long-time local jazz and blues vocalist with a national reputation, Pamela Rose has graced the stage as a headliner at SFJazz and at the Monterey Jazz Festival. She has been a regular at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay for many years.
The Rowan Brothers — One of the longest-performing groups in the Bay Area, they first appeared here in 1971 as the “psychedelic country folk” opening act for The Grateful Dead. The relationship between members of The Dead and the Rowans has continued for many years, with Jerry Garcia and Billy Kreutzmann appearing on their first album (along with local Renaissance Man Ed Bogas, who took over as composer for the Charlie Brown Specials after the death of Vince Guaraldi) and Phil Lesh later performing Dead material with them on stage. Despite those Grateful Dead alliances and appearances, the Rowans’ natural style feels distinctly different to me. They play regularly n Sausalito as a duo at The Trident.
Carlos Santana — It’s been a while now since Santana has done an unpublicized pop-up show in Sausalito. This may be because the last one (as I remember) at Gatsby’s on Caledonia St. drew such a big crowd in the era of mobile phone word-of-mouth that the cops had to come blockade the nearby intersections to protect the crowd that gathered outside to listen
Slim Jim — Local rock-dance band that plays regularly at multiple Sausalito venues.
Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers — Lavay Smith has an international reputation and has headlined on stages all over the world, including the 2017 SF Jazz Festival. She is also a respected jazz historian and interpreter who works to preserve this uniquely American form of music. Her music videos often emphasize her tongue-in-cheek voluptuous style, but if you see a full concert performance or hear her interviews you’ll see that she has fun, but she’s also a very serious jazz musician with deep expertise in the cultural roots of her work. She’s performing at Sausalito’s Jazz and Blues by the Bay 2017, and has also played at different venues in Sausalito.
Joe Tate — Joe Tate has been making music in Sausalito for five decades, with bands ranging from The Redlegs (who played on the same bill with top San Francisco bands like The Grateful Dead in the late 1960’s) to more recent outings with long-time bandmates like Maggie Catfish in The Gaters, The Blue Monday Band and The Hippie Voices. The video below shows a late 1960’s or early 1970’s performance. The Blue Monday Band holds regular jam sessions at the Sausalito Cruising Club, and its members can also be heard regularly at the No Name Bar.
Chuchito Valdes — Chuchito Valdes carries a heavy weight on his shoulders. His grandfather Bebo Valdes and his father Chucho Valdes are two of the most respected jazz pianists of the last century, and played a major role in the definition of modern Cuban jazz. Chuchito tours extensively, and about once a year he comes to Sausalito and plays in the intimate setting of Divino.
Well Known Strangers — Hard-working original folk rock band that integrates strings cleverly with strong vocals and makes me think about what Fleetwood Mac would have sounded like if they had come to Sausalito now, instead of in the 1970’s. They’re most often heard in Sausalito at the No Name Bar.
Carrie Welling — Nashville-based country singer-songwriter whose sound has also been compared to Stevie Nicks and has earned recognition from MTV. Often performs with Kate Mills and especially Kasey Williams. Has performed in Sausalito at Divino.
Kasey Williams — New York singer-songwriter whose pieces run from satirical to “saying out loud what people think but never say” to romantic love songs. Performs extensively with Carrie Welling and also with Kate Mills. Has performed in Sausalito at Divino.
Yacht Club of Paris — Gypsy jazz group with roots in traditional jazz as well. They appeared most recently at Divino, but one day I hope to be able to write “Yacht Club of Paris appearing at Presidio Yacht Club,” although that may cause a bit of confusion.