Realistic Orchestra is composed of many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest musicians. Collectively, their studio and live credits read everywhere from Ratdog and Santana to Zion I and Lyrics Born. The band has performed live at many of the Bay’s top music venues and festivals such as; Yoshi’s, Elbo Room, The Independent, Jazz at Pearl’s, The Mystic Theater, SF Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, Fillmore Jazz Festival and North Beach Jazz Festival, as well as the Levitt Pavillion in Pasadena, CA.
The instrumentation of Realistic Orchestra is based on a century old classic ensemble known as the “Big Band” or “Jazz Orchestra” which includes 13 horns and a rhythm section of drums, upright bass and keyboards. adding to this foundation is guitar, electric bass, electonics, guest DJs, guest vocalists and the one and only Dublin (The shotgun Wedding Quintet) who’s collaborations with the band are unlike any other Hip:Hop on the planet. These elements, combined with modern electronic influenced grooves, epic arrangements and cutting:edge jazz improvisation, create the distinct and unmistakeable sound of the Realistic Orchestra.
Realistic has also received wide recognition for it’s 10 year run on the first Tuesday of every month at “Jazz Mafia Tuesdays” at Coda in San Francisco’s Mission District, which the band recently decided to put to an end in 2010.
Realistic also took home SF Weekly’s “Best of the Bay” award for Jazz Band in 2004. In 2005 Realistic started presenting various tribute shows which occur many times a year around the birthdays of musical legends, past and present, which have grown to be sold out shows as well as being awarded Best of the Bay for “Best Live music Weekly night” in 2006 and 2007. Recent tributes have included the music of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and most recently Michael Jackson. Guest vocalists featured have included Joe Bagale, Kim Nalley, Chris McGee, Emily Schmidt, Sonya D, Seneca, Soulati and Infinite.
Realistic Orchestra is led by Adam Theis who is also the principle composer/arranger of the Jazz Mafia’s Hip-Hop Symphony “Brass, Bows & Beats, and co-leads The Shotgun Wedding Quintet and Hip-Hop Symphony, Brass Mafia and Supertaster. Adam is most notable for being the 2008 recipient for the prestigious Gerbode-Hewlett Grant for Jazz composition. With the commission Adam arranged the 50 piece one hour long symphony, “Brass, Bows & Beats”, combining elements from the 10 years of development he has been involved with in the San Francisco music scene. “Brass, Bows & Beats” premiered to sold out crowds in April of 2009 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and has since been performed at major festivals across North America, such as the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl, Montreal International Jazz Festival, and the Newport Jazz Festival.
Realistic Orchestra has released three full length albums to date, “Live at Bruno’s”, “Living Loops”, and “Symphonies From Down the Block”, on Jazz Mafia Recordings. All of which have received critical praise.
* Adam Theis: bandleader, bass, trombone
* Eric Garland: bandleader, drums
* Evan Francis: alto sax, flute
* Kasey Knudsen: alto sax, flute
* Joe Cohen: tenor/alto sax
* Matt Nelson: tenor sax
* Sheldon Brown: tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
* Eric Crystal: tenor sax
* Doug Rowan: bari sax
* Joel Behrman: trombone, trumpet
* Jeanne Geiger : trombone
* Danny Grewen: trombone
* Jaime Dubberley: bass trombone
* Niel Levonious: lead trumpet
* Rich Armstrong: trumpet/vocals
* Dave Scott: lead trumpet
* Mike Olmos: trumpet
* Erik Jekabson: trumpet
* Joel Ryan: trumpet
* Colin Hogan: keys
* Jon Monahan: guitar
* George Ban-Weiss: upright and electric bass
* Tommy Folen: electric/upright bass
* Dublin: vocals
* Joe Bagale: vocals
* Karyn Paige: vocals
* Chris McGee: vocals