Club Foot Orchestra, Photo: Anne Hamarsky
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Twisted Tales of Felix
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Club Foot Orchestra
SF Jazz Festival, Club Foot Orchestra performing The Complete Metropolis, at SFJAZZ, April 14, 2013
Performing NOSFERATU at World Financial Center
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari: Conrad Veidt as the SomnabulistFritz Lang's METROPOLIS
Performing SHERLOCK JR at World Financial Center
PANDORA'S BOX: Louise Brooks as LuluHANDS OF ORLAC: Conrad Veidt as Paul Orlac
Legong Dance of the Virgins

Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box

Music by Club Foot Orchestra with SF Conservatory of Music LIVE at the Paramount on Saturday, May 6!

On May 6, 2023, the Club Foot Orchestra will join forces with San Francisco Conservatory of Music to accompany G.W. Pabst’s 1929 masterpiece Pandora’s Box at Oakland’s magnificent Paramount Theatre. 

 San Francisco Silent Film Festival will screen the restoration by Angela Holm and David Ferguson in a DCP from the Deutsche Kinemathek.

 The film stars the radiant Louise Brooks whose mesmerizing performance as the sexually adventurous Lulu catapulted her to worldwide fame. 

Link To Tickets (Ticketmaster)

Here is praise for Brooks through the years: 

 An actress who needed no directing, but could move across the screen causing the work of art to be born by her mere presence.—Lotte H. Eisner 

 Those who have seen her can never forget her. She is the modern actress par excellence. . . . Her art is so pure that it becomes invisible.—Henri Langlois 

 Her youthful admirers see in her an actress of brilliance, a luminescent personality, and a beauty unparalleled in film history.—Kevin Brownlow 

 One of the most mysterious and potent figures in the history of the cinema . . . she was one of the first performers to penetrate to the heart of screen acting.—David Thomson 

The Club Foot Orchestra at the Paramount Theater, May 6, 2023

Beth Custer, clarinets
Sheldon Brown, woodwinds
Nik Phelps, woodwinds
Chris Grady, trumpet
Richard Marriott, brass and woodwinds
Kjell Nordeson, percussion
Steve Kirk, guitar
Myles Boisen, bass guitar
Alisa Rose, violin
Deirdre McClure, conductor

and joined by students of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The Club Foot Orchestra is a multi-faceted musical ensemble whose live performances of modern scores for silent film sparked a revival in the genre that continues today. Their innovative style creates a musical atmosphere that brings silent film into the modern era, synthesizing sounds of Eastern European music, Impressionism, Jazz Fusion, and many other styles. The New Yorker said "This is music that bubbles up from the intersection of aesthetics and the id". Their versatile instrumentation of woodwinds, brass, bowed strings, keyboard, guitar, and percussion has often been augmented by voices, string quartet, Balinese Gamelan, or kinetic sculptural machinery. They have performed at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, The Smithsonian, World Financial Center, SF Jazz, and their home at the Castro Theater in San Francisco, among many other venues in the US, Mexico, and Canada.

Founded by Richard Marriott and Beth Custer, the ensemble got its name from a performance art nightclub called the Club Foot which flourished during the 1980s in the Bayview district of San Francisco. Marriott, who lived upstairs, formed a house band that came to be called the "Club Foot Orchestra." Two albums released on Ralph Records document the music of this period: Wild Beasts and Kidnapped. Richard Marriott continues to serve as the group's creative and artistic director.

The Club Foot Orchestra performs live with a variety of feature-length and short-subject silent films ranging from German Expressionist to American Comedy to Asian Dramas. They also scored and recorded 39 episodes of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, a CBS Saturday morning cartoon show.  Their unique compositions often rely on a collaborative writing process that makes their scores both varied and cohesive. The Orchestra has been honored to have so many skilled performers and composers in its ranks.

Current members
Beth Custer, clarinets and keyboard
Sheldon Brown, woodwinds
Chris Grady, trumpet
Richard Marriott, brass and woodwinds
Gino Robair,percussion
Will Bernard, guitar
Kymry Esainko, piano
Alisa Rose, violin
Deirdre McClure, conductor

Past members
Dave Barrett, saxophones
Myles Boisen, guitar and electric bass
Joshua Brody, keyboards and accordion
Matt Brubeck, cello
Catharine Clune, violin
Steed Cowart, conductor
Richard Egner, guitar and bass
Josh Ende, saxophones
Eric Drew Feldman, keyboards
Opter Flame, trumpet and mellophone
Kaila Flexor, violin
Sascha Jacobson, double bass
Bonnie Kane, saxophone
Elliot Kavee, drums and cello
Steve Kirk, guitar and banjo
Dave Kopplin, drums
Bob Lipton, tuba and electric bass
Jason Marsh, violin
Doug Morton, trumpet
Nik Phelps, brass and woodwinds
Julian Smedley, violinm guitar and keyboards
Snakefinger, guitar
Kenny Wollesen, percussion and mallets
Arny Young, drums

Guest Artists and Collaborators, Past and Present
Steve Adams, saxophones
Laurie Amat, voice
Jorge Avila, violin
Dewa Barata, suling and pemade
Julian Dixon, tuba
Gamelan Dharma Swara, Balinese Gamelan
Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Balinese Gamelan
Ben Goldberg, clarinet
Rachel Golub, violin and sitar
Matt Heckert, machines
Marcus Rojas, tuba
Todd Sickafuss, double bass
Matthew Szemela violin
Kal Spelletich, machines
Made Subandi, voice, kendang and suling
Rob Sudduth, saxophones
Nyoman Windha, voice and kendang
Pamela Z, voice and electronics