Mimi Pirard • vocalist
Parisian singer, Mimi Pirard, has a passion for reviving
songs from times gone by as sung by Edith Piaf,
Jacques Brel, and their contemporaries.
At age thirteen Mimi began her singing career in
Saint Germain en Laye as a member of Atelier Chanson,
a Paris music association, learning to harmonize
melodies and take leading roles performing traditional
and contemporary French songs.
At age seventeen Mimi moved to California where she
and her brother, Gabe, began performing regularly at
local venues. Mimi and Gabe formed the band, Dgiin,
which earned The North Bay Music Awards, “Best World Music Band”,
for it’s unique, high energy mix of gypsy, flamenco, with a touch of funk. Their repertoire included songs in French, Spanish, and English. Today Mimi sings with the band
SonoMusette where she explores and exudes her favorite musical styles and songs.
Her interpretations of these timeless French classics provide a freshness and excitement
that is contemporary, yet faithful to the spirit and tradition of the original renditions.
Robert Lunceford • accordion
Robert was born on Bastille Day in Maywood, California,
located on the west bank of the Los Angeles River.
He began playing the accordion at age seven while growing
up in the Los Angeles suburb of Huntington Park.
Robert’s musical interests have strongly focused on
European and traditional music. He has played with
numerous traditional Celtic music groups including the
Los Angeles based band, Reel to Reel, and Sonoma
County’s Atlantic Shore. In 2009 Robert formed the
French music trio, Un Deux Trois, for which he composes
and arranges much of the band’s music.
Serving as musical director for Cinnabar Theater’s 2014 production of
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, as well as the 2015 production of Edith Piaf: Beneath Paris Skies, Robert was nominated for “Best Musical Direction” by The Bay Area Theater Critics Circle. Robert co-founded SonoMusette with singer
Mimi Pirard, debuting the group in February 2016.
Jan Martinelli • upright bass and piano
A native San Franciscan, Jan has toured and performed
with numerous bands and artists at major festivals
and performance halls throughout the country. Known for her
stylistic range from Latin, jazz, and funk to blues and folk,
her soulful approach to the bass can be heard on more
than 30 albums. Jan appeared on the cover of Southwest
Airline’s inflight magazine, Spirit, in an article “Women
& Jazz” and has played major jazz festivals such as Aspen,
Barbados, Monterey, San Francisco, and the Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts. Jan played bass in
Cinnabar Theater’s productions Edith Piaf: Under Paris Skies
and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
Along with SonoMusette, Jan currently performs
with French music trio, Un Deux Trois, and has been
touring nationally with Holly Near since 2012.
Isaac Vandeveer • guitar and bass
Isaac began learning music performance
in Oakland, California public schools
and began his life long love for playing music. He picked up
guitar sometime in the 80‘s and discovered jazz,
fusion, and swing. Earning a degree in guitar
performance from Humboldt State University,
Isaac is now a band director for Rincon Valley
Union School District in Santa Rosa. Isaac has
performed in a wide variety of genres and
ensembles from free form jazz to cover bands;
pit orchestras to big bands. He’s done the
occasional classical solo performance but much
prefers the thrill of playing in the context of a group.
Kendrick Freeman • drums
Kendrick has a background in both drum set
and hand drums, having studied with American drumset
artists and musicians from Ghana, Congo and the
Caribbean, with an emphasis on the traditional
music of Haiti. His flexibility has allowed him to
work in various settings: with singer/songwriters,
jazz and new acoustic musicians as well as in the
dance world. Kendrick has been a member of
Ricardo Peixoto’s quintet for the last six years and
works in Ruben Valtierra’s Latin trio. Kendrick has
toured with Joe Craven, Alison Brown, David
Jacobs-Strain and Rob Ickes among others and
has worked with Haitian dance companies
Group Petit La Croix, led by Blanche Brown, and
Portsha Jefferson’s Oakland-based Rara Tou Limen.
Kendrick received a grant from the National Endowment For The Arts for study with drumset artist George Marsh and support from the Alliance For California Traditional Arts as part of his 11-year apprenticeship with Haitian master drummer Daniel Brevil.
Kendrick is on staff at Sonoma State University in the jazz department.