Ceramic Dog

Marc Ribot: guitar
Shahzad Ismaily: bass
Ches Smith: drums

Marc Ribot was born in Newark, New Jersey. As a teenager, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 to 1989, of John Lurieʼs Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a sidemusician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others. Ribot's recording credits include Tom Waits, Soloman Burke, John Lurie, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, David Sylvian, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, T-Bone Burnett, The Jazz Passengers, The Lounge Lizards, Evan Lurie, Chocolate Genius, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Cibo Mato, Medeski Martin & Wood, James Carter, Vinicio Caposella, Auktyon, Vinicius Cantuaria, Sierra Maestra and many others. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most recently on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's grammy award winning Raising Sand and he also regularly works with composer John Zorn. Ribot's own recording projects have included the bands Rootless Cosmopolitans, Shrek and Los Cubanos Postizos. His solo recordings include Marc Ribot Plays The Complete Works of Frantz Casseus, The Book of Heads, Don't Blame Me, Saints and most recently Exercises in Futility. Marc has performed on scores such as Walk The Line, Everything is Illuminated, and The Departed by Scorsese. Marcʼs talents have also been showcased with a full symphony orchestra. Composer Stewart Wallace wrote a guitar concerto with orchestra specifically for Marc. The piece was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC in July of 2004 and also appeared at The Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, CA in August of 2005.

Marc is currently touring with two bands, the Albert Ayler tribute project Spiritual Unity, featuring original Ayler bassist Henry Grimes, and Ceramic Dog featuring bassist Shahzad Ismaily an drummer Ches Smith. Ceramic Dog released recently their debut album called Party Intellectuals.

Shahzad Ismaily, an American of Pakistani descent, was born and raised in Shickshinny, a quiet ex-coal mining town in Pennsylvania. He fell in love with music as an art for personal expression and cathartic self-actualization at an early age. Although he is self-taught, he thoroughly digested written treatises on theory, composition, expression, form, and acoustics while at Simon's Rock of Bard College studying pre-medicine. His interests soon took him outside the Western tradition, and led him to pursue study of traditional music in Bali (with I Sumarsam), Pakistan (Ustad Bismillah Khan), Japan (Kodo taiko ensemble), Morocco (Bachir Attar, Master Musicians of Jajouka), Brazil (Cyro Baptista) and India. As a composer, he has written works for small chamber ensembles, short film, dance and live theatre. He performs and records regularly on piano, electric bass, electric guitar, double bass, drums, percussion, and electronic textural instruments. He has worked with musicians: Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista, John Zorn, Eyvind Kang, Laurie Anderson, Jojo Mayer, Wolfgang Muthspeil and Butch Morris; choreographers and dance companies including Jo Kreiter, Min Tanaka, Collision Palace (Amsterdam dance/music collective) and Frankfurt Ballet (co-composer Joel Ryan).

Ches Smith was born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento. He began playing drums just in time to join a third rate prog/punk/psych/metal band early in high school. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure punk rock bands and intensive study with drummer/educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills college in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist/composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio - Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel/Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (with Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Good for Cows, Xiu Xiu, Carla Bozulich, Secret Chiefs 3, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, and 7 Year Rabbit Cycle. He also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches.