The Zen Bastards came together in the fall of 2000 after meeting in the studio while working on a project for the Boston acid jazz/trip hop band Hyptonic.
The members bring together a diverse set of musical knowledge and experience to create a unique blend of styles. In February of 2001, Zen Bastards began a Monday night residency at The SkyBar in Somerville, Massachusetts. Now well into it's second year, the Bastards have honed their improvisational and communication skills during their residency and are creating ever more intense music. Reminiscent of the great Mile Davis experiments in the early 70's that produced Bitches Brew, with a generous nod to Weather Report, Ornette Coleman, Primetime, Late Trane and Albert Ayler, The Bastards incorporate elements of free jazz, electronica, hip hop, funk, rock and fusion to create a totally modern and unique sound!
The Bastards recorded debut "April Fool" features 55 minutes of improvisational journeys that touch on a number of styles including jazz, jam, electronic music, funk, spoken word, and a bit a "punk" jazz. Recorded over two weekends in 2001 at 7A West Studio, the band invited several guests to the sessions and the resulting track "Caledonia" is pure improvisational madness. "Caledonia" features the spoken word mayhem of Adam Oh (neon grandma), Guitarists Jim Dennis and Dan Ledger, percussionist Don Uva, and the exquisite space bass of Dane Scalise along with the core group.
Michael Caglianone "aka the Grand Bastard" - soprano, tenor, baritone and electric saxophone, saxello
Michael has worked as a musician, composer, engineer, producer, personal manager and promoter in the Northeastern US for 20 years. A Berklee alum,(class of 83) he has played and recorded with fellow students Branford Marsalis, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Donald "Duck" Harrison, Greg Osby, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Walter Beasley and others. During breaks from Berklee he went to L.A. To study with Art Pepper. He ended up touring the West coast with Pepper and played several shows with Chet Baker. Mike has also studied and played with Joe Lovano and Andy McGee.
Mike remains very active in the business side of the industry while continuing to play shows. He has composed music for various large scale installations and theatre productions including "Clean Memories of the Big Fish" on Boston's City Hall Plaza, Performers Ensemble "Medea" "Portraits for 2 and 3 Dancers" for the MJT Dance Company and the multi-media architectural space "Shrine to the Private Marching Songs" designed by Architect Eric Gould.
As a player Mike and led the improvisational group Syzygy for 15 years. He is the founding member and current "Grand Bastard" of the Zen Bastards.
Scott Vercoe - hohner clavinet, fender rhodes, synthesizer
Scott hails from a musical lineage. Both his mother and father are musicians and noted composers of contemporary classical music. A graduate of Oberlin as a composition major, Scott is extremely active in the music scene as a founding member of the groove/soul band Hyptonic as well as the band Zen Bastards. He has performed with many notable musicians and has numerous recording and composition credits including being the driving force behind the critically acclaimed "Invisible Movie Soundtrack" an eclectic concept album featuring many notable Boston area musicians. Scott is well versed in many styles of music from classical to jazz, hip hop to improv.
Brian Verrochi - electric bass
Brian was born in Dorchester, MA and grew up in Quincy, MA, a suburb of Boston.He was introduced to the bass at age eleven. Brian enhanced his musical training by studying piano and voice. He was a student at the Boston Archdioceson Choir School for a total of four years, where he studied under John Dunn. Immediately after graduation from Boston College High School in 1995, where he studied Jazz Theory under Matt Finnegan, Brian was granted a scholarship to Berklee where he concentrated on the upright and electric bass under the guidance of Jim Stinnette. Within that same year, he received the prestigious "Louis Armstrong Jazz Achievement Award." Embracing many styles of music, Brian focuses his talent on Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Funk. It is this diversity that he brought to SEVEN 13/COVEN 13 in 1999. Since that time, Brian's contributions to the band have been a stalwart of skill, volume, and endurance.
Jim Lucchese - drums and percussion
Jim "the sammich" Lucchese has been performing throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states for over 10 years. A student of Bob Guilotti, he is extremely well versed in a variety of musical styles and brings a unique dynamic and grand sense of humor to the Zen Bastards. A veteran of the Boston band Neon Grandma, he has also performed with Kemp Harris, Adam Oh, Hyptonic, and has recently completed a stint as percussionist with the band Strangefolk.