Ches Smith

Ches Smith was born in San Diego, CA, and raised in Sacramento. He was part of a group of punks and musicians who loved jazz and free improvisation. After studying philosophy at the University of Oregon, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995. He was inspired by William Winant, percussionist, to enroll in the Mills College graduate program in Oakland after a few years playing in obscure bands and extensive study with Peter Magadini (drummer / educator). He studied composition, improvisation and percussion with Fred Frith and Pauline Oliveros, Winant and Alvin Curran. Ches received one of Winant’s “assignments” as he was assisting Mr. Bungle in his touring gig. He met Trevor Dunn, a bassist and composer who would later hire him to lead the second version of his Trio-Convulsant. Two bands were co-founded by Ches during his time at Mills: Theory of Ruin, which was formed with Fudgetunnel/Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport, and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline singers’ Devin Hoffman). He currently records and performs with Secret Chiefs and Xiu Xiu. He has performed with Annie Gosfield and Wadada LeoSmith, Fred Frith and Trevor Dunn. He is also the leader of Congs for Brums, and These Arches, his own projects. He divides his time between Brooklyn, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. From

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