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K i m  R e i t h


b. 2/19/54

Kim was raised in San Diego, California, but lived in San Francisco for 18 years and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Japan. She returned to her hometown in 1993, then in 2000 moved to LA. Until 1985, when she began studying the guitar, her background was in art and writing. As a child, she was exposed to a large jazz, blues, folk, opera, world and ethnomusicology recording collection belonging to her music-loving mother. She studied guitar privately with San Francisco jazz guitarists Marlena Teich and Duncan James and with the LA/San Diego jazz guitarist Art Johnson, and spent many years in independent study. Reith has been composing jazz works for small and large ensembles since 1993, formally studying jazz theory, composing and arranging under Rick Helzer at SDSU.

In 1979 Reith made her entrée into music as a backup vocalist in an all-women's blues and gospel chorale for San Francisco blues pianist, singer/songwriter and recording artist Gwen Avery. She began her instrumental career as a guitarist, singer and songwriter for an experimental SF punk-rock trio, the Well Babies, with whom she played from 1985 to 1987.

In 1987 she began focussing exclusively on jazz studies, eventually getting her feet wet with various small San Francisco jazz bands. In 1992 she supported herself by playing solo jazz guitar on the streets of Paris, returning to San Diego in 1993. That year, she joined acclaimed avant-garde Canadian saxophonist Maury Coles for duo explorations and performances. At the opposite end of the jazz spectrum, Kim also performed with the UCSD Big Band under Jimmie Cheatham's direction. She formed both the duo Groove Yard and the Kim Reith Trio in 1994, performing extensively with both groups throughout San Diego between 1994 and 2000.

"BAIL!" is her first album, recorded in late 1999 to document her compositions and her ensemble work with San Diego bassist Bruce Grafrath. Since, Reith has collaborated with Bronx-born Swiss resident Edmund J. Wood, on a series of experimental open improvisations, featuring Reith on hollow-body electric guitar and Wood on fretless bass and implied-time drum loops. She currently composes and performs in the LA area.

She plays a Herb Ellis model Aria Pro II hollow-body electric guitar through a Polytone Mini-Brute amp.


Click her name for info on BAIL's graphic artist, Barbara Meyer Fiore.


About the sidemen on BAIL!

Bruce Grafrath
b. 1/19/54

San Diego is Bruce's hometown. He began playing music at the age of 11, experimenting with the ubiquitous keyboard instruments in his family's house and even studying clarinet for a short while in grade school. When his sister presented him with a guitar in 6th grade it became his primary instrument until 1987 when he began studying the electric bass. He switched to upright in 1990, studying with bassist/educator Gunnar Biggs, although Grafrath is largely a self-taught musician. His acute ear and intonation, melodic solo lines, and responsive sensitivity to other players makes him a greatly sought-after bassist in San Diego's jazz community. He's shared the stage with jazz luminaries Mike Wofford, Holly Hoffman, both Charles McPherson and his drummer son Chuck McPherson, and plays frequently with saxophonist Joe Marillo. Grafrath and Reith have played numerous gigs together, and began their musical association in 1994. Bruce is a regular feature at local gigs and sessions all over San Diego.

Kevin Green
b. 7/13/73

Kevin is also from San Diego. He began playing music at the age of six, studying piano for seven years. His focus changed to percussion in 1983, but he became serious about drums in 1990, and in that year he narrowed his studies even further to jazz drums. In 1992, after a year of musical studies at California Institute of the Arts, Kevin transferred to Jackson State University, majoring in Music Education. He was graduated cum laude in 1997. He has studied privately with Al "Tootie" Heath, William Beathea, Al Fielder and Julie Spencer, and he attended weekly drum workshops with Billy Higgins at The World Stage in Los Angeles. Green is a member of the Taco Shop Poets, a spoken word/percussion group, Tree-yo X, a jazz group with World Music influences, and Teye Sa Thiosanne, an African drum and dance company. He has contributed to several recordings, "Chorizo Tongue Fire," by the Taco Shop Poets, Essence Project's "The Essence of My Children," and the Jah Sun-Nommo Collective release "Catabasis." His serious, focussed, spiritual presence and unique playing style made Green the creative drummer of choice for Reith for recording BAIL!

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