San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Clarinet Thing – April 4, 2014

Original compositions and arrangements of works by Ian Guest, Clark Coolidge, Jimmy Giuffre, Carla Blay, Alexandre Stellio, Michael Moore, John Carter, and Duke Ellington. Clarinet Thing is a quartet of clarinetist/composers dedicated to original new music and jazz. The group was founded by Beth Custer twenty-five years ago, and the current line-up of Beth, Sheldon Brown, Ben Goldberg, and Harvey Wainapel has been together since 2005. BC Records release Cry, Want in 2009 (“A rich woody blend of original music” – San Francisco Chronicle). Clarinet Thing received national critical acclaim with the release of its first CD Agony Pipes and Misery Sticks, named for colloquial terms for the clarinet. Members have received many accolades in the press. Goldberg has twice been named Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll (2011 and 2013); Custer has been hailed as a “woman for all seasons” by The Guardian; Sheldon Browns performances have been hailed as “mesmerizing, featuring extended meters, fierce improvising, and beautifully constructed melodies” (San Francisco Offside Festival). “Harvey Wainapel has established himself as one of the most promising and versatile jazz musicians of his generation.” (All Music Guide). Each member of the group contributes original compositions and arrangements of unusual jazz works and the group utilizes the entire range of the clarinet family, from sopranino E-flat to contra-alto.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.