PETER MACRAE JAQUES
681 Oberlin Ave., Kensington, California 94708
Director, composer, lead clarinetist & trumpeter, company manager, founder.
September, 2000 – present ~ www.brassmenazeri.com
I founded and direct the Brass Menažeri, an award-winning, genre-expanding ten-piece brass band. We take our primary inspiration from the brass bands of Serbia, northern Greece and Macedonia (FYROM), studying all three styles extensively in order to understand and accurately present these traditions. With Brass Menažeri, I also work to expand these traditions with my own compositions drawing from these styles and other closely related traditions — notably Turkish makam theory and its forebear, the Byzantine church modes. (These traditions, via Byzantine and then Ottoman rule, came to underlie the harmonic structure of much of the music of the Balkans.)
Recently Brass Menažeri has embarked on a collaboration with Boston-based hip hop artist Mr. Lif. Our performance together at the Seattle Folk Festival of December, 2010, was a critical success, and we recently raised over $8000, entirely as donations from fans, to record a collaborative album in Fall 2011.
Clarinetist, nay player, sound designer, composer.
January, 2004 – present ~ www.stellamara.com
I am the clarinetist, nay player, sound designer and a composer for Stellamara, a contemporary group forging a new sound from diverse, but related, styles — Turkish and Persian devotional and classical music, Greek rebetika, Epirot and Cretan music, Bulgarian and Albanian polyphonic singing. Led by singer Sonja Drakulich, Stellamara infuses this mix with lush instrumental and synthesized textures. In 2007, we had the great honor to record with Crete-based master instrumentalist/composer Ross Daly, a founder of the new Eastern Mediterranean style revitalizing music throughout the region.
August, 1995 – present ~ www.gonifs.com
I formed the Gonifs in 1995 with vocalist/accordionist Jeanette Lewicki, in order to study, preserve and embody the instrumental and vocal music of Eastern European Jews, a music which almost disappeared due to the Holocaust and the rise of Israeli national identity (as distinct from European Jewish identity).
September, 2008 – present ~ www.janamband.com
I am the clarinetist and a composer for Janam. Led by singer Juliana Graffagna (former director of Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble — www.kitka.org), the group delves deep into the traditions of Northwestern Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, even finding common ground with the American polyphonic and pentatonic roots music of Appalachia.
Clarinetist, trumpeter, percussionist, composer.
January, 2005 – October, 2008 ~ www.gamelanx.com
Based in the Balinese baleganjur processional gamelan ensemble, Gamelan X expanded the genre with new compositions incorporating Balkan, Afrobeat, and Indian styles, and nontraditional instruments such as clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, Indian tabla, harp, accordion, synthesizer and drum kit.
Gamelan X performed at the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali, in 2005.
BA Computer Science, 1995
Private & group instruction on Balkan clarinet and trumpet 2000-2007
Seminar with Greek master clarinetist Alexandros Arkadopoulos, 2007
Awards & Significant Achievements — Brass Menažeri
 “SF Weekly Music Awards 2008,” blogs.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2008/10/last_night_sf_weekly_music_awa.php
 “The 100 Best Albums of 2010,” Lucid Culture, Dec. 2010. lucidculture.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/the-100-best-albums-of-2010