Spend enough time checking out live music in the San Francisco Bay Area and eventually you’re bound to cross paths with master percussionist and composer Dave Mihaly.
A long-time San Francisco resident by way of New Jersey, Dave has been adding his unique take on rhythm to a wide variety of jazz, rock and folk artists (Ara Anderson, Mark Matos, Sean Hayes and Jolie Holland among them) while maintaining a healthy output of his own compositions with his Shimmering Leaves Ensemble. Not only that, Dave is a magical conversationalist whose words – most often when not under the glare of a camera or the intrusion of a microphone – naturally roll off his tongue in seemingly fully realized poetry.
Much like Mark Matos (episodes 42 and 43) and the Parson Red Heads (episodes 5 and 6) before him, Dave Mihaly had a lot to say. In fact, Dave had so many interesting and revealing bits to share that I decided to include nearly all of our conversation in a two-part episode, only the third time we’ve done so since the launch of Parlour to Parlour in 2009.
I could say more, but Dave really says everything best. But I will say this: Dave’s masterful performance of the jazz/folk story song “When You Leave It All Behind,” from 2013’s wonderful Shimmering Leaves Ensemble album, Rivers, is a one-man-band sight to behold. Not only that, it’s a touching song that very accurately reflects the soul of the master who created it.
Episode 49: Dave Mihaly speaks about his musical style, his influences, and musical high points from the very recent past:
Episode 50: Dave Mihaly recalls the journey that brought him from New Jersey to San Francisco, and shares a bit of his favorite items at home: