Club d'Elf has been helping audiences lose track of time since its first show twenty one years ago at Boston's Lizard Lounge, and since then has taken its bold synthesis of Moroccan traditional music and electronic, dubbed-out funk to audiences as far away as Japan and South America. Circling about bassist/composer Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston, each Club d'Elf performance features a different line-up, drawn from a constellation of some of the most creative improvisors from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston and NYC. The band's music has been called "the music of dreams" by the Boston Globe, and draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, Moroccan Gnawa, hip hop, psychedelia, electronica, avant garde and dub.
Club d'Elf has been featured on PRI's The World, Voice Of America, and Afropop Worldwide, with Time Out New York describing the music as “The roaring avant-funk of electric-era Miles (and) the legato drift of the Grateful Dead…heady music that doesn’t neglect the tail”. The Boston Herald proclaimed “Crushed between the borders of Morocco, jam band land and the kingdom of avant-garde jazz lies Club d’Elf…James Brown-meets-Sun-Ra.”
Derived from ancient sources, trance forms the central core of the Club d'Elf aesthetic, unifying the various genres the band has absorbed. Guitars, turntables, Fender Rhodes, laptops, horns, tablas and all manner of exotic instruments flow in and out of the mix, along with Rivard's commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a camel-skin-covered bass lute. A mind-boggling array of special guests have been featured with D'Elf, including John Medeski, Mark Sandman (Morphine), Hassan Hakmoun, Marc Ribot, Reeves Gabrels (Bowie/The Cure), Adam Deitch, DJ Logic, Ryan Montbleau, Marco Benevento and Skerik.
"Most of this stuff is just flat-out crazy but in the best possible musical way, as if the Sun Ra Arkestra happened to pick up the Wild Tchoupitoulas on Bourbon Street and then set their controls for the heart of the sun." - Chris Slawecki, AllAboutJazz
"One of the most inventive and ever-changing bands in all of new jazz" - Russ Davis, Jazz America
"....the lovechild of Pink Floyd and George Clinton, dropped in Marrakesh...deeply psychedelic...." - Marlon Bishop, WNYC