Studio 55 Marin

Premier Live Music Listening Room

1455 East Francisco Blvd., San Rafael, California


Drive To

For Live Music

Performance Hall

Recording Studio

Music School

All shows are recorded and videotaped, and performers get audio and video recordings of their show.

All shows are presented by

Roots Music Marin


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Roots Musicians Spectacular

Wednesday, April 23 - 7:30pm - $13 advance / $15 at door

Scott Nygaard and Sharon Gilchrist plus Annalivia

Famous Local Guitar & Mandolin Duo, plus String Band Duo from Massachusetts

Scott Nygaard and Sharon Gilchrist

Play the video on the right to see a live performance featuring Sharon Gilchrist

Scott Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original guitarists in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene. Scott was the guitarist with Tim O'Brien's band, the O'Boys, from 1992 to 1997, and has performed and/or recorded with such acoustic music stars as Joan Baez, Chris Thile, Darol Anger, Jerry Douglas, Laurie Lewis, Anonymous 4, Matt Flinner, Bill Evans, Sharon Gilchrist, and many others, receiving numerous Grammy nominations for his stellar sidemanship. He was the guitarist on three recordings that have proven to be extremely influential on the contemporary acoustic music scene: Chris Thile's "Leading Off," Tim O'Brien's "Red on Blonde," and Jerry Douglas's "Slide Rule."

Sharon Gilchrist has long made her home in the American acoustic music scene. Whether you have seen her playing mandolin, thumpin' the upright bass, singing a traditional ballad or performing one of her original pieces, you've heard an artist steeped in traditional Appalachian music delivering these sounds with a distinct spacious, graceful and fiery nuance. Sharon has performed with Darol Anger, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, Uncle Earl, Ger Mandolin Orchestra directed by Mike Marshall, Scott Law, Kathy Kallick Band, Bill Evans, and Donald Rubinstein.


Play the video on the right to see a live performance by Annalivia

    Annalivia is an American "roots and branches" string-band which draws from tradition and today to create their own brand of new acoustic folk music. Annalivia's latest release "The Same Way Down" features traditional songs and fiddle tunes alongside stunning original pieces. This album debuted at #7 on the international folk DJ charts, with False Sir John reaching the #1 played song on folk radio worldwide.

    Acoustic Guitarist Flynn Cohen has performed all over the world with many notable acts in traditional and contemporary acoustic music, including legendary Irish Accordion player John Whelan, modern bluegrass band Tony Watt & Southeast Expressway, and his own group of acoustic string wizards, The Deadstring Ensemble.

    Liz Simmons has developed a unique vocal and guitar style that incorporates the sounds of traditional and contemporary music from the Celtic and North American musical worlds. She also performs with Long Time Courting, the John Whelan Band, and Hannah Sanders, and has guested with North Cregg, The Sevens, and Southeast Expressway. Her singing will be featured in the soon-to-be-released film "Time and Charges", written and directed by Grammy and Emmy award winner Ernest Thompson.

Award Winning Singer-Songwriters

Saturday, April 26 - 8:00pm - $13 advance / $15 at door

Best of the East and West

Dulcie Taylor, Steve Key, and John Roy Zat

Dulcie Taylor

Video of Dulcie Taylor    

DULCIE TAYLOR is a veteran performer from the East Coast. She has shared the stage with an impressive list of artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Gorka, Asleep at the Wheel and Kathy Mattea; and has performed at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Kerrville Folk Festival Mainstage, The Bluebird (Nashville) and many others. Dulcie is an award winning songwriter, most recently 1st Place Best Songwriter at the 2013 New Times Music Awards for her song "Cigarette Smoke". She has released three all-original CDs. The latest, Free of this Sorrow (2012), reached No. 1 at Amazon for Top-Rated Americana. In addition to crafting song lyrics, Dulcie Taylor is a prolific writer of poetry and prose, and a former Board member of Washington, D.C.'s Folger Shakespeare Library poetry series.

Steve Key

Video of Steve Key    

STEVE KEY is an award-winning songwriter, performer and recording artist, best known as the writer of "33, 45, 78 (Record Time)" recorded by country music star Kathy Mattea. Originally from the Bay Area, Steve spent many years in New York writing and touring, and a five year stint in Nashville as a Music Row writer. He has played the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Canadian folk festivals at Winnipeg and Owen Sound, three times on the main stage of the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas and countless others. He has opened shows for Richard Thompson, Cheryl Wheeler, Ellis Paul, Livingston Taylor, James McMurtry, Taj Mahal, Rory Block, Bill Staines and Tom Paxton just to name a few. Steve Key now resides in California's Central Coast where he performs regularly and hosts the Songwriters at Play showcase series.

John Roy Zat

Video of John Roy Zat    

JOHN ROY ZAT has been making music in the Bay Area since 1970, and has played with many fine local musicians over the years including Kate Wolf, Nina Gerber, Queen Ida, Bill Kirchen, and John McVee. Kate Wolf recorded his words to the old time waltz "Midnight On The Water" for her second album with him playing the fiddle; and the song has since been covered by Banish Misfortune, Caroline Herring and others. John has released two CDs of mostly original material, "Solo" and "Collaborations". Both have gotten consistent airplay on independent radio and have charted in the top ten on Roots Music Report and Airplay Direct. "With Appalachian influences, Cajun, dust bowl, and a dash of rockabilly -- each song sounds and reads like a book. His lyrics are stunning and his rich vocals bring life to each song, taking us on a journey." - Indie Showcase

Special Mother's Day Weekend Show

Saturday, May 10 - 8:00pm - $16 advance / $20 at door

Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright Roche

Mother-Daughter Duo from Famous Folk Family

Click below to see a live video of Suzzy & Lucy

Suzzy Roche is best known for her work with the female vocal group The Roches, alongside sisters Maggie and Terre. They are extremely well known in folk music circles from their many recordings and performances, including appearances on Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and various movie and TV soundtracks. Suzzy has also had individual success as a songwriter, recording artist, actress, and performer.

Lucy Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy and Loudon Wainwright III. She is an excellent musician and songwriter on her own, has released several albums, and tours regularly presented her music. In early 2009, Lucy's song "Snare Drum" won the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song. In 2008, Lucy was one of the winners of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival's "Emerging Artist" competition. Again in 2009, she was one of six winners of the Grassy Hill Kerrville Folk Festival's "New Folk Singer/Songwriter Competition".

Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche are celebrating the release of their first album, Fairytale and Myth, and were recently featured on NPR's Mountain Stage.

Amazing band returns to Studio 55

Saturday, May 31 - 8:00pm - $15 advance / $18 at door

Run Boy Run

3 women, 2 men, 2 fiddles, cello, bass, mandolin, & three part harmonies

Live video of Run Boy Run performing Back in Time

Live video of Run Boy Run performing Willow Garden

The unique sound of Run Boy Run is rooted in the traditional music of the Appalachian South. In recent years, bands like Nickel Creek, Crooked Still, and others have revived a sense of innovation in traditional American music. Run Boy Run continues this journey into music that is dynamic, orchestral, and overflowing with beauty. Three strong female voices weave a spectacular tapestry of sound. Award-winning fiddle cuts a path for a tightly formed rhythmic front. Every arrangement is - at it's core - beautiful.

From winning the band contest at Pickin' in the Pines to playing on stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival as band contest winners in 2012, to making a second appearance on A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul in 2013, Run Boy Run is spreading this special brand of music to all who would hear. With the release of the full length album So Sang the Whippoorwill in March of 2013, Run Boy Run is making more people dance, cry, and sing than ever. A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor was impressed enough that he penned the liner notes to this CD.

Brother and sister, Matt (fiddle, guitar) and Grace Rolland (cello, vocals), have fiddle music running through their blood. Raised with bow and rosin on every bedside table, Run Boy Run was a natural fit. Sisters, Bekah (fiddle, vocals, guitar) and Jen Sandoval (mandolin, vocals), grew up deeply rooted in the Bluegrass festivals of Arizona, so they too found a home in Run Boy Run. Jesse Allen (bass) was brought up on opera and western swing, and grew to love the natural fusion inherent in American music. The whole truly exceeds the sum of the parts as touches of classical, jazz, and folk express themselves through the old-time core of Run Boy Run's unique sound.

When I hear Run Boy Run, it all comes back to me, why I started doing that show back then. I hope they go on forever. - Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion

Sunday afternoon Celtic show

Sunday, June 1 - 3:00pm - $17 Advance / $20 at door

Todd Denman with Trinity and Friends

A special afternoon of Irish and original music

Click below to see a live video of the Todd Denman band

Uilleann piper Todd Denman will perform with Trinity, featuring Diana Rowan on Celtic harps, Eamonn Flynn keyboards, and guests, playing a variety of material from early medieval to traditional Irish music. Joining them, special guest John Ward on guitar, and more, making a packed stage of unique evocative and driving music. This will be his first appearance at Studio 55.

Todd Denman is an award-winning uilleann piper, an NEA grant recipient, and a CA Arts Council Touring Artist. He rarely performs in the Bay Area. Todd has been performing the uilleann pipes since 1982 and is recognized as an American master of the instrument. He has toured world-wide and recorded for Disney and performed with the San Francisco Symphony.

Diana Rowan, Celtic harpist, is currently performing worldwide and recording both as a solo artist and collaborator. Her playing and compositions have "unusual power and beauty." Her latest album "As Above, So Below" reflects recent travels in Asia and PhD research into the unusual harps of Ethiopia and Persia - the original harps. Combining both virtuosic technique from classical training and soulfulness from immersion in folk traditions, Diana explores the borders of the harp's voice.

Eamonn Flynn was born in Dublin, Ireland, and was the keyboardist on the 12 million selling movie soundtrack The Commitments. He has gone on to record and tour worldwide with, among others, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Evelyn 'Champagne' King, Elvin Bishop, Pee Wee Ellis, Donald Harrison, Michelle Shocked, Maria Muldaur, The Black Brothers, Tony Lindsay (Santana), and a 10 year stint with legendary Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste.

Chamber Jazz

Saturday, June 7 - 8:00pm - $17 advance / $20 at door

Manring, Kassin, & John R., plus OoN

Bass Spectacular featuring bands with Michael Manring & Ariane Cap

Manring, Kassin, & John R.

Play the video on the right to see a live performance featuring Manring and Kassin

Separately, Michael Manring, Larry Kassin, and John R. Burr have extensive, multi-faceted careers as musicians. Together they play provocative, complex compositions - music that tears down stylistic walls and refuses to be compartmentalized - echoes of classical, jazz, rock, folk, avant-garde, and world music - something completely new: extemporaneous-jazz-chamber-fusion-music for the new century.
Michael Manring (bass), known for his innovative approach to the bass and adventurous solo concerts, has appeared on approximately 200 recordings, and toured throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He has received Grammy and Bammie nominations, the Berklee School of Music Distinguished Alumni Award, two Gold Records, and the Bassist of the Year award from the readers of Bass Player magazine.
Larry Kassin (flute) founded the internationally recognized Noe Valley Music Series in 1981. His wide-ranging performance style has led to appearances with Bobby McFerrin, Jessica Williams, SF Klezmer Experience, Rhiannon, Sonia, and Box Set, plus a recent CD release with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzerek and Beat poet Michael McClure.
John R. Burr (piano). After years of touring with such artists as Maria Muldaur, The Alison Brown Quartet, Paul McCandless, Michael Manring, and Kathy Kallick and recognition including a feature spot on Windham Hill's Piano Sampler II, Burr is has stepped out with his first solo album, Piedmont Avenue. John R. Burr is that rare pianist who combines jazz technique with a genuine love for folk music. The Philadelphia Weekly said, "Pianist extraordinaire John R. Burr has the most sparkling style since former Allman Brother-turned-Rolling Stone hired hand Chuck Leavell."

The bassoon bass duo of Paul Hanson and Ariane Cap

Play the video on the right to see a live performance by OoN

People often say they don't know what to expect from a bass and bassoon duo. Well, think melodic and groovy music. OoN with its unlikely combination of bass and bassoon creates beautiful melodic Chamber Jazz. Sometimes peaceful and meditative, at other times passionate, raging or groovy, the musical bandwidth these two instrumentalists cover is surprising. Utilizing virtuosic and unusual playing techniques as well as effects and harmonizers, the musicians put the song first and musicality front and center.
Ariane Cap is an Austrian multi instrumentalist, composer and music educator. Ariane is a bassist (upright, electric, fretless, mini bass), pianist, vocalist and flutist. She has turned out compositions for Karney Music and Sound, Somatone and Wolftrack audio, regularly teaches at the Berkeley Jazz School, The Wyoming Rock Camp Experience, the Berkeley Jazz Workshop and her own Music School, Step Up Music. Performing credits include the Celtic Rock Band Tempest, The Kid-punk rock band The Sippy Cups, the African Band The Palmwine Boys, the Guitar Virtuoso Muriel Anderson, the Austrian funk band The Mozart Band, Cirque du Soleil, and many others.
Paul Hanson, as a bassoonist over the last 20 years, has been one of a select few setting new standards for what is possible on this most classical of woodwind instruments. From his roots as an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist, Paul is known for his diverse career with artists such as Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Cirque Du Soleil, DAVKA, St Josephs Ballet, Zenith Patrol, The Klezmorim, Paul Dresher Ensemble, Jonas Hellborg, Dennis Chambers, Eddie Money (sax soloist on "Take Me Home Tonight") and Boz Scaggs.