Poncho Poncho and the Eli Wise band are two of the Bay Area's most unique voices in contemporary singer-songwriter music, blending profound, often ethereal lyrics with jazz-inflected edges.

Poncho Poncho

Japanese singer Saki Minamimoto met Nashville-born musician Jon Estes while both were living in Brooklyn in 2008, and they immediately started making music together. After a year of experimenting with sounds and compositions at a weekly gig at a sushi restaurant, they developed a totally unique sound and started to record their ideas in the studio. Their 2010 EP "Hello Hello" meshed Saki's ethereal Japanese lyrics over organic, lo-fi electronica, drawing comparisons to Bjork, Stereolab, Beach House, and Tujiko. Their new EP "Sinfonia" (2013) takes a new direction: with Saki using English lyrics, and Estes building the productions using only the instruments inspried by his relocation back to Nashville: acoustic bass, pedal steel, mandolin, violin... and the East-meets-West result is entirely unique, organic, raw, and beautiful.


Saki Minamimoto, vocals
Nathan Blaz, cello

Andrew Maguire, vibes
Karl Evangelista, guitar
Bob LaDue, bass
Robert Lopez, drums


Eli Wise Band

Eli Wise is Sci-fi Folk music with lyrics rooted in science fiction and myth, accompanied by jangly percussive guitar, contrapuntal harmonies. The band's new album, Let My Tethers Fall, features full orchestrations – banjo, organ, piano, violin, drumset, multiple singers. When performing live, the music is energetic, passionate, and even a tad humorous.

The Eli Wise Band is a Progressive Americana group that formed out of the Oakland Experimental music scene. The story driven music has a strong beat, savvy vocal harmonies, and contrapuntally layered instruments featuring driving acoustic guitars, punchy melodic bass, and brooding piano melodies.

We are versatile live performers, taking up the banjo, acoustic guitar and brush drum set for smaller venues, pianet, electric guitar, and full drums for rock clubs. We are always adding new original songs to our set list and currently have enough material to comfortably perform for up to 90 minutes.

We have just released our first album, The Ashen Grove. Haunting, rustic songs tell stories of loss and disconnection. The album was inspired by the loss of my good friend in the Iraq War. The songs are conversational, but also touching on deeper questions, such as the role of the archetypal soldier in today's world. I’d love to hear from anyone with personal stories they’d like to share about how the war has effected their lives.

Eli Wise, guitar, vocals 
Damon Waitkus, banjo, electric guitar, voice 
Robert Lopez, drums



$10-$15 sliding scale