Two Sisters Inc. (two baris, one mind…and a bass) is a recently formed trio of two baritone saxophones and acoustic bass. Two leading New York bari players Claire Daly and Dave Sewelson join forces with the legendary David Hofstra on bass to create a band capable of almost anything. From Blues to Bop and Beyond they add special sauce to anything they play. The spontaneous joy of creation can be witnessed in each moment of their performances. Their repertoire ranges from original to old to the future. Anything can happen and does. They break the rules and rule the breaks.
Claire will tell you that her life changed on Sept. 23rd, 1971, when as a very (very) young girl, playing saxophone for 3 months, she heard a big band concert at the Westchester County Center. The saxophone section stood up for a soli, and Claire was on her chair screaming. After dragging her father to the stage door for autographs afterwards, she said of the Buddy Rich Band bus, “I'd do anything to be on that bus”. It was the kind of epiphany that only young enthusiasm can breed, but enthusiasm is still the motivating force in her musical life.
After attending the Berklee College of Music, she began an education of another kind -- making a living as a musician. Her career has included anchoring the sax section in the Diva Big Band for 7 yrs, freelancing in New York doing EVERY imaginable kind of gig (available on request!), recording 5 CDs with the brilliant, quirky composer/pianist Joel Forrester and their band “People Like Us”, as well as two CDs as leader on Koch Jazz, (”Swing Low” and “Movin' On” now re-released on Dalybread Records) and a new release of her own called “Heaven Help Us All” (Dalybread Records). She has performed on numerous CDs, film scores, jingles, and of course in many festivals and venues.
She has backed up Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney among many others, being an in-demand baritonist in every style of music. Leading her own jazz groups, and passing on to the next generation the gift of music, have been the mission of her life.
In the fall of '05, Claire began a new long term project, touring the country playing gigs and tracking down some of the hidden treasures of the jazz world, interviewing them on video, planning an eventual documentary. In October '05, the William Jefferson Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark. requested a copy of her first CD, Swing Low, to be included in a listening station as a CD significant to the former president while in office.
Five time winner of the Downbeat Critic's Poll “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” and winner of the Jazz Journalist Association “Baritone Sax of the Year '05” category, Claire travels worldwide, playing in as many situations as possible. She is currently working with human beat box Napoleon Maddox and bassist Joe Fonda with “IsWhat?!”, melding hip hop and jazz in a very exciting manner.
Dave was born in Oakland, California, in 1952. There was a half-size violin kept in the closet in case he wanted to be a concert violinist. He played trumpet at the age of nine, moving to baritone horn at the age of eleven, followed by a stint on drums until he settled on electric bass at thirteen, adding upright bass to the mix until the switch to saxophone at the age of twenty-one.
Sewelson has specialized in the baritone saxophone since the early seventies. He arrived in New York City in the summer of 1978, settled in the East Village, played in many bands in the area including the 25 O'Clock Band, Jemeel Moondoc's Jus Grew Orchestra, Noise R us, Mofungo, Freedomland, The President, Konk and Illuminati. He was a founding member of the Microscopic Septet and played with Wayne and Bill Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Saheb Sarbib, John Zorn, Roy Campbell, Elliot Sharp, Dee Pop, Frank Lowe, Pat Place, Billy Bang, Walter Perkins, Bobby Radcliff, Clayton Thomas, Kyosuke Otsuka, Norah Jones, and so many more.
Sewelson is currently involved in several projects, among them William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and Fast ‘N Bulbous (the Captain Beefheart Project), and Two Sisters Inc. and Yukijurushi. He leads The Daves, Sewelsonics, and the Dave Sewelson Motet.
Bassist/tuba artist Dave Hofstra has played, toured, and recorded extensively in jazz, rock, blues, klezmer, and new music. He has performed with artists Bobby Previte, Lou Grassi, Bobby Radcliff, Grady Gaines, John Zorn, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Debbie Davies, Elliot Sharp, Tom Cora, Guy Klucevsek, Bill Frisell, Toshi Reagon, Luka Bloom, Marshall Crenshaw, Joel Forrester, William Parker, and Nora York, as well as with Philip Johnston's Big Trouble, the Microscopic Septet, and the Transparent Quartet; Rachelle Garniez's Fortunate Few and Twilight Time; Casselberry & DuPree; The Waitresses; Sleepy LaBeef and the Klezmatics.