Darren Johnston's "Nice Guy Trio"

The Nice Guy Trio creates a sound that is both intimate and reflective of their contrasting yet complementary musical backgrounds, and always with an emphasis on spontaneity. In concert they navigate through a uniquely diverse collection of original compositions and songs from folk traditions all around the globe, from jazz to klezmer to Balkan dance forms, to calypso and beyond.

Since settling in San Francisco in 1997, Canada-born trumpeter Darren Johnston has built a web of alliances, from avant-guard excursions with the likes of the ROVA saxophone quartet, the Splatter Trio, and Ben Goldberg, to straight-ahead jazz outings with the likes of bassist Marcus Shelby.

As a band-leader he is best known for his work with his "United Brassworkers Front," whose second CD, “In Between Stories”, was recently released on Evander Music. Another new release in '07, "Reasons for Moving," featured Fred Frith and Larry Ochs, and was released on the Not Two label.

Darren was mentioned in last June’s issue of Down Beat as one of “25 trumpeters for the future.”

He appeared here previously with the Even Francis / Darren Johnston Quartet.


Accordionist Rob Reich studied Composition at Oberlin Conservatory of Music under John Luther Adams, Pauline Oliveros, and Brenda Hutchinson.

Rob plays accordion, piano, or guitar with Gaucho, The Golden Melody Band, Kally Price, The Trifles, Sean Hayes, and many other Bay Area bands. His expansive musical sensibility is rooted with a firm belief in melody, improvisation, and group play, with particular interest in the idioms of Klezmer, traditional Jazz and Blues, Rock 'n Roll, and various Folk Music.


Daniel Fabricant has performed as a freelance bassist with world-class acts such as Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Lorna Luft, Lisa Vroman, Andrea Marcovicci, Klea Blackhurst, Linda Lavin, Paula West and Spencer Day.

Among other venues, he has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center - Rose Hall, The Encore (NYC), Herbst Theater, Masonic Auditorium, Great American Music Hall, Empire Plush Room (S.F), The Gardenia Room (L.A.), Le Chat Noir (N.O.), Kamura's Jazz House (Okinawa, Japan) and Duke's Place (Tokyo, Japan).