Press Kit


New Jersey born and raised Dave Mihaly is a multi instrumentalist and composer. He spent his early years on the east coast, and began playing in rock bands at the age of 12, as a drummer, the instrument with which he is most identified. He was exposed to jazz and blues music via the record collections of his friend’s older sister. He developed a voracious appetite for listening to music from all genres, and soon was spending time in record stores and the public library expanding and deepening his awareness of sonic forms and sounds. He also began playing guitar and piano, and singing at this time.

At age 16, he realized he could take the train to New York city and witness the musicians he’d been hearing on recordings. So began a journey of absorbing sounds by Pharoah Sanders, Bill Evans, Air, Arthur Blythe, John Fahey, Joanne Brackeen, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, L. Shankar, Elvin Jones, the Allman Brothers, Jerome Cooper, Charles Mingus and many others. Subsequent studies at Drew University in music theory/history, and psychology along with some private percussion lessons with Andrew Cyrille and Barry Altschul, rounded out his formal education. At 21 he began playing gigs in the loft clubs of the era such as Jazzmania and the Ladies’ Fort, and spending time in the legendary Tin Palace on 2nd and Bowery absorbing the sounds of the loft era. He also recorded music in Stevie Wonder’s downtown studio, with the band Periphery East, through the auspices of Wonder’s scouts, the enigmatically named Byrd and Fountain. He spent time rubbing elbows with Philly Joe Jones, Billy Hart, David Izenson, and with painters and writers who frequented the lower east side between 1973 and 1980.

“The loft jazz era existed side by side with the rise of punk rock, both chronologically, and geographically in downtown New York. i was interested in the energy of punk, but was far more interested in the forms that were being developed by the musicians who were playing in the lofts. I was learning to hear instrumental music in a deeper way, fascinated by the way the instrumentalists communicated with one another. I liked the mix of folkloric knowledge mixed with the compositional and improvisational development of organized sonic forms. The loft music embraced energy too, and that appealed to the energy of my youth, and still does.’ Dave Mihaly

Mihaly began traveling across the US and Canada on a series of hitch hiking journeys, going to New Orleans, the southwest, and the west coast for the first time. At 24, after having played in the band Periphery in the east coast off and on for several years, he relocated to San Francisco, which became his base.

‘The west coast seemed to offer new ideas and vistas that I found stimulating. It seemed like i could take these new inspirations and make a life for myself playing music and teaching while immersing myself in the music from Asia and Mexico that surrounded me. I also found the Keystone Korner club in North Beach (now defunct), that brought in musicians from New York and Europe, which allowed me to stay connected to a vibrant part of my inspiration. I bought a Keystone pass and was there many, many evenings, listening.”

Mihaly worked in the social service sector using his psychology degree in counseling while playing in a variety of groups; jazz, rock, blues, experimental, and the new wave and punk of the 80s. He began teaching and spent time on the faculty of New Traditions School, and later, the Bird School of music. Always composing and playing, he amassed a book of hundreds of pieces/songs, covering eclectic territory. He wrote music for 7 silent films that was featured at the Mendocino Film Festival and the
Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA.

He began playing with the singer Jolie Holland, with whom he recorded three records, and toured Europe with her 3 times, went on two Australian/New Zealand tours, and crisscrossed the US and Canada playing venues from sports bars to hockey arenas, and everything in between. He also played in Europe with Sean Hayes and Jon Birdsong.

Places played previously:

the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Crossing Borders Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Merideth Music Fest in Australia, the SF Jazz Fest, the Symbiosis Gathering, the Bioneers Conference, the Joshua Tree Music Festival, the Classical Revolution Chamber Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall in NYC, the Knitting Factory NYC ,CBGBs NYC, Guanzhou, China, Hoi-An, Vietnam, the Fillmore, Yoshis in Oakland and SF CA, and the SF Offiside Jazz Festival….as well as many many other places throughout America, Europe, Asia, and the South Seas.

Artists he has played with include: his own band ‘Dave Mihaly and the Shimmering Leaves Ensemble’ with whom he has recorded three CDS of original material, as well as Bardo, the After the End of the World Coretet, Mushroom, Mark Matos and Os Beaches, Jolie Holland, Sean Hayes, the Iron and the Albatross, Bill Noertker’s Moxie, Jon Birdsong and Kaliedophone, Eddie Gale, John Tchicai, Eartha Kitt, Victoria Williams, Gary Floyd, Jennifer Blowdryer, the Cowboys, the Mustangs, KillBossa SF, Stick against Stone, Fallen Angel, Bliss Boy Perez, Merle Sanders, Nice Guy Trio, the hip hop group Lilly White Lies, JC Hopkins in NYC and SF, Joel Harrison, Rent Romus and the Lords of Outland, Kush, Irish Higgins, , Lisle Ellis, Ben Goldberg, Graham Connah, and many, many others.

“I have played drums with musicians in many idioms. Rock, straight ahead jazz, experimental textural bands, Chinese bands, Brazilian tropicalia music, funk, country, blues, folk music of many varieties, punk, reggae….they have all been of interest to me. I like that the mix has all influenced my writing. I have also been able to work as a percussionist in many groups, playing marimba and guitar as well. Sometimes, perhaps it confuses people. But it seems to be my path.”.

Recordings he appears on include:


Dave Mihaly’s Shimmering Leaves Ensemble 
— Rivers (2013)
    Dave Mihaly – drums, percussion, guitar, vocals (tracks 3,7,10,12), compositions
    Ara Anderson – trumpet, percussion, drums (tracks 3,12)
    David Boyce – tenor & soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, percussion, drums (tracks 9,10)
    Michael Cavaseno – guitar, percussion
    Charith Premawardhana – viola, percussion
    Bill Noertker – bass (track 2)

Dave Mihaly’s Shimmering Leaves Ensemble
— Eastern Accents in the Far West (2010) (Porto Franco Records)
    Dave Mihaly – drums, piano, voice (track 9), compositions
    Ara Anderson – trumpet, bass trumpet, sousaphone, drums
    David Boyce – tenor saxophone, drums

Dave Mihaly’s Shimmering Leaves Coretet
— Live at Sacred Grounds (2001)
    Ara Anderson – trumpet, calaphone;
    Chris Arnold – musical saw;
    Seth Augustus – igil, throat singing;
    Jolie Holland – viola, percussion, voice;
    Brian Miller – guitar;
    Erik Pearson – guitar;
    Dave Mihaly – guitar, drums, percussion, marimba, voice;

Dave Mihaly String Quartet #1,
— The Influences of the Invisible (2005)
    Linda Robertson – violin;
    Sarah Jo Zaharako – violin;
    Yehudit – viola;
    Beth Snellings – cello;
    Dave Mihaly – composition;

Dave Mihaly String Quartet #2,
— The Spider Quartet. (2006)
    Carey Lamprecht – violin;
    Sarah Jo Zaharko – violin;
    Bill Noertker – contrabass;
    Eric Perney – contrabass;
    Dave Mihaly – composition;

Dave Mihaly String Quartet #3,
— 4×6=the Garden in the Dunes Quartet – Music for four guitars (2008)
    Michael Cavaseno – nylon string guitar;
    Chris Fortier – steel string guitar;
    Dave Mihaly – nylon string guitar;
    Roger Riedlbauer – steel string guitar, electric guitar;
    Dave Mihaly – composition;

Dave Mihaly, The Deneb Quartet
— music for strings, metal percusssion, and bass drum (2009)
    Enzo Garcia – long neck banjo, enzophone, saw, percussion;
    Dina Macabee – violin, mandolin, percussion;
    Dave Mihaly – guitar, percussion, vibraphone, bass drum;
    Charith Premawardhana – viola, percussion;
    Dave Mihaly – composition;


  • Jolie Holland
  • Catalpa (Anti)
  • Escondida (Anti)
  • Springtime Can Kill You (Anti)
  • After the End of the World Coretet
  • Quaternity (Crystal Egg Records)
  • 13 (AEWC Records)
  • Ara Anderson
  • The Iron and the Albatross
  • Boostamonte
  • Bardo self titled
  • (Odrab Records)
  • Jon Birdsong
  • Kaleidophone Offrenda
  • Blue Period
  • DaMaDa (Chinese folkoric, opera, jazz, rock)
  • Live at the Union Hall
  • Three Kingdoms
  • David Dondero
  • Shooting at the Sun with a Water Gun (Future Farmer)
  • Sean Hayes
  • Alabama Chicken
  • Sonia Hunter
  • Favorite Short Stories
  • Headlights and Other Constellations
  • Mushroom
  • Oh They’re Weird and Wonderful
  • Joint Happening (with Eddie Gale)
  • Foxy Music
  • Glazed Popems
  • Yesterday I Saw You Kissing Tiny Flowers (with Alison Levy)
  • I Really Dont Mind if You Sit this One Out
  • Noertker’s Moxie
  • (selected)
  • Obsidian,
  • self titled
  • Rent Romus and the Lords of Outland
  • The Metal Quan Yin (Edgetone)
  • Adapt or Die (with John Tchicai)
  • Avatar in the Field (music of A. Ayler)
  • Starlight (madrid, spain)
  • Land’s End Beach
  • Mark Matos and Os Beaches
  • Words of the Knife
  • Annie Girl and the Flight
  • self titled
  • Professor Burns and the Lavender Fields
  • Ghosts Be Free
  • Mike Elias/AJ Mantas
  • self titled
  • Mike Elias
  • Happy Dog
  • Ramon and Jessica
  • Fly South
  • UndercoverSF
  • Velvet Underground Project
  • Blue Project
  • Joland Moletta/She Owl (Turino, Italy)
  • self titled

In the press:

Regarding the newest Shimmering Leaves recording “Rivers”

“…This is visual music of the first order performed with great aplomb by a tight ensemble who feed off each other’s inspirations and ever-so-slight cues to take us on a journey along the “Rivers” of the mind. A welcome and exciting addition to an already impressive discography.”
— Jeff Penczak, Terrascope

“(the) drumming is a cross between Jack DeJohnette and Levon Helm….like Levon, Dave was blessed with a sweet voice and the ability to play stringed instruments. Like Jack, he ‘knows’ compositions. . .in my mind, the most consistent and most listenable record to emerge from the Bay Area in a long time…”
— Pat Thomas, founder of Heyday Records. author of ‘Listen, Whitey. The sounds of the Black Power movement 1965-1975’. editor/publisher of ‘Ptolemaic Telescope’

“ ‘Rivers’ is the second Shimmering Leaves Ensemble studio album, and it plays like a slowly unfolding painting. Trumpet, tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet and viola provide aural brush strokes of varying widths and pressures….it moves at a pace anyone can follow, allowing the beautiful, thoughtful melodies and structures of the tunes to envelope the listener’s psyche”.
— Michael Fortes, PopDose

“a percussion scientist” Joel Selvin, SF Chronicle

facebook dave mihaly

Music: Youtube the following

Salvatore’s Song – Dave Mihaly – Porto Franco Files (instrumental original)

Dave Mihaly at Red Poppy Art House wth Darren Johnson’s Earthq (sung original)

LAUNCH! Performance of the Week, August 8, 2013: Dave Mihaly (instrumental original)

also; music can be streamed from cd baby (cds title “dave mihaly and the shimmering leaves
ensemble”…..(‘rivers’ and ‘eastern accents in the far west’)

you can also see and hear two inteviews via youtube
(parlour to parlour episode 49, episode 50, and episode 50 performance)

Thank you for your interest in the music.
You can contact Dave Mihaly at