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Pipa Piñon & Dreambeach

muasic_LYLBPipaPinonWhen Pipa Piñon hired a temporary bassist for a gig, little did she know that she and Daniel Vee Lewis would end up married and tour together for more than two decades. When asked to describe their sound, Piñon and her husband respond with warm smiles, “avant-garde electric folk jazz.” Much like the community that has nurtured and influenced their sound, the Santa Cruz-based band, Dreambeach, passionately embraces freedom of expression; creating music that is honest, powerful and at times unusual. “We sound like we’re from Santa Cruz,” says lead singer and lyricist Piñon, whose ethereal voice soars, whispers, and sometimes even speaks, over Lewis’ subtle, yet solid bass lines. “Everyone hears this album [and] they say it sounds like water and open ocean,” Lewis adds. Both the comparison, and the band’s moniker hit the nail on the head. Dreambeach’s sound is loose and vaporous, settling in like a chilling mist that casts a contemplative spell over the listener. The band will debut its latest effort, Blue Heart, at Kuumbwa Jazz on Oct. 8, with the help of Jim Norris (drums), Bill Walker (guitar), Jemila Alldis (vocals), and Pete Coates (saxophone). Due to the tumultuous nature of the album’s subject matter—struggling with the loss of numerous family members, major surgery, and marital tensions (that are now resolved)—the performance promises to be a night to remember. Through it all, the couple has found comfort in one another and music. “It’s a way of dealing with [pain] … painters paint, poets write, and as a musician—you write a lot of songs,” says Lewis. And despite the personal challenges she faced during the album’s creation, Piñon says she is excited to take the stage: “Everything got stirred up, including the relationship … [and] the music benefited from it big time because it got even deeper.”


INFO: 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320 Cedar St. #2, Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 427-2227.

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written by rick walker, September 29, 2011
I've lived in Santa Cruz since 1971 and had the honor of travelling and recording with master musicians from around the planet. It just doesn't get better, more sublime, more emotional or more artistic than what Pipa and Daniel are doing in Dream Beach. They rehearse in my brother's studio next door to my own.........the other evening, Pipa sang one of her new songs and it was so beautiful that it brought me to tears (I was eavesdropping from inside my teaching studio next door). Do yourselves a favor: go see this amazing band and the wonderful world class musicians who play with them. I'll see you there!

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