Born and raised in Chicago, guitarist/songwriter Michael Bizar took to music at an early age. He began playing guitar at the age of seven and the piano at the age of twelve. During high school, Michael studied music theory, learned to play drums, and performed with several bands. He later attended Columbia College in Chicago where he studied jazz guitar, piano, and composition under the instruction of such great Chicago musicians as Bill Russo, Orbert Davis, and jazz-guitar-wizard Frank Dawson. After graduating in 1995, Michael recruited several of Chicago’s finest players to form Citrus, a seven-piece group that featured improvisation while playing rock, jazz, and bluegrass. Citrus had a good four-year run of touring and recording. At the age of 26, Michael moved to San Francisco to get a fresh start. Not long thereafter, AJ Croce called for Michael to fly to San Diego and join him on tour. Since then, Michael has been touring and recording with AJ, teaching his guitar students, doing regular session work, and has played with the likes of Phil Lesh, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Jon Popper, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Jeff Coffin. In May of 2002, Michael founded BIZAR BAZAAR, a weekly Tuesday-night event at the Boom Boom Room that showcases some of the finest talent in Bay Area musicians.
Check out Michael's official web site.
Lucas Carlton, the newest and youngest member of the Biz Baz gang, has been playing drums since he was in 7th grade. Influenced by contemporary drummers such as Stanton Moore, Jon Fishman, Billy Martin, Carter Beauford, and Zach Velmer as well as pioneers like Mike Clark and Tony Williams, Lucas is bringing fresh new ideas to the band. In addition to studying ethnomusicology at UC Berkeley, Lucas has studied with composer/avant-garde jazz visionary Steve Coleman, master Ghanaian drummer/performer CK Ladzekpo, and Zach Velmer of Sound Tribe Sector 9. Some of Lucas' performance experience has included a three-year stint with local band Wayside and involvment in several straight-ahead jazz combos. He currently also plays in The 5th Hour with singer/songwriter Randy Todd, and Home at Last, featuring former members of Uncle Harlen's Band.
Murph, now with more Nacho (vegan) Cheese flavor than ever before and specially redesigned to produce 20% less chafing, is here to satisfy your every need. Murph is the whey and the lite, and will lead his flock out of the deep end of the pool into the shallow end, and perhaps into the hot tub, if you're lucky. Born to play the nose flute, Murph somehow ended up playing bass, but sounds pretty good on it anyway. If you've got a question about music, odds are that Murph can answer it, or at least he'll know someone else who can.
A life-long Bay Area resident, keyboardist Simon Rochester has been on the local music scene since his summer-long stint as the Palo Alto Holiday Inn lounge pianist when he was 15. At U.C. Berkeley, while majoring in math and physics and minoring in music, Simon formed 9-piece funk/soul band !Tang with fellow members of the U.C. jazz and marching band programs. !Tang was a force to be reckoned with for the next 10 years, playing in most every notable Bay Area club and producing three albums. In addition to BIZAR BAZAAR, Simon currently plays in the Tangria Jazz Group, The 5th Hour with singer/songwriter Randy Todd, experimental-jazz/funk quartet Monkey Knife Fight, the Latrells with former Tang lead vocalist Uncle Ray, and psychedelic-jazz big-band The Bear-Cult. During the day, Simon does physics research at U.C. Berkeley and dabbles in graphic and web design.