Cloud Shepherd with special guests Will Alexander and India Cooke
Cloud Shepherd is a Bay Area quartet formed to explore improvised music, but in a more “ambient” setting, reflecting its combined interests in spontaneous composition, drone-based music and certain 20th-century classical and jazz composers. Its moniker was chosen to reflect its commitment to the pasturing of ever-changing, nonlinear cumulations of sound.
Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist and pianist. His recent works include the collections of poetry Compression and Purity (City Lights Spotlight Series) and The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions), the novels Diary As Sin (Skylight Press) and Sunrise in Armageddon (Spuyten Duyvil) and Inside the Earthquake Palace: 4 Plays (Chax Press). The recipient of a 2001 Whiting Fellowship for Poetry and a 2002 California Arts Council Fellowship, Alexander has worked as a teacher and writer-in-residence at colleges and universities and been associated with the nonprofit Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, working with underserved, at-risk youth.
India Cooke—violinist, composer and educator—plays classical and jazz music. She has performed in Bay Area symphony and opera orchestras, chamber ensembles and Broadway shows. She has performed as featured soloist with Joe Williams and the Louie Bellson Orchestra and played with Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and many others. Her continuing jazz and improvisation experiences include performances with Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Cecil Tayor, Pauline Oliveros and many others. Cooke was artist-in-residence at the San Francisco School of the Arts and teaches at the San Francisco Community Music Center, Mills College, Santa Clara Children’s Shelter and her private studio.