San Francisco - Greetings From The San Francisco Chapter Board: David Roche

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David Roche - Executive Director, Blue Bear School of Music

San Francisco Governor


How/When did you get your start?

At age 4, I started taking piano lessons. My mother had played piano with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra when it was a regional polka band in Minnesota.

What was the most interesting experience you’ve had while working?

Performing as sitar maestro Nikhil Banerjee’s tanpura player on tour awash in musical genius every night.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve worked with and why?

Playing for Sam Rivers conducting his free-form improvisational orchestra making strange and awesome sounds.

Who is someone you would like to work with and why?

Keith Richard so I could play some killer sitar lines with him.

How does a band or artist become a brand?

It’s all magic.

What is your favorite piece of equipment and why?

Fender P-Bass to play James Jamerson Motown lines.

Where/how do you hear about new music?

Some kind of alchemical radar and keeping an ear to the ground.

What’s the best part about the San Francisco music scene?

Variety, diversity, and opportunities to play.

What artist or band should people know right now?

The James Lick Middle School rock band.

What book would you recommend as a must read for someone?

The Keith Richards autobiography as an audio book read by Johnny Depp.

What 5 albums would you say are a must listen too for everyone?

“A Love Supreme,” “Sketches of Spain,” “Tapestry,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonelyhearts Club Band,” Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan’s duet album with “Palash Kafi” and “Bilashkhani Todi”

What’s a piece of advice you’ve learned that you wish someone had shared with you?

Treat music as a profession and learn what you need to know technically to work independently and lead a middle-class life.

Growing up, which artists inspired you the most?

Gene Autrey, Rod Roach, Eric Dolphy, Amir Khan, Olivier Messiaen

What advice would you give to a young artist just starting out in the music business?

Go ahead if you must. Treat music as a spiritual calling.

How are emerging technologies changing the music industry in general and specifically your field?

Recording and playback accessibility allows for great learning opportunities.

What Social Networking sites do you use the most?

I get more than enough e-mail to keep me socially networked….but I do like YouTube connections.

What are your favorite performance venues in San Francisco?

Café du Nord, Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Center.

What are your “secrets to success?”


Do you believe mentorship is important? Who were your mentors early on in your career and what impact did they have on your experience in the business?

Bob Brown created the template to follow and deviate from in the world music presenting and education field.\

Who are your favorite new artists right now?

D’Angelo, Iraheta.