At an early age, Eric Shifrin fell in love with the piano. The cheap parlor tricks, boogie woogie, the pretty stuff too. His mother helped him to learn to read music by placing him on her lap with his hands on her fingers as she played through many classical favorites.
Traditional piano lessons followed, and by high school graduation Shifrin was deeply involved in music and improvisation.
Alto sax became the instrument of choice for several years, and doubling on the keys helped keep him in high demand as a sideman. At the same time, composing and recording became a personal passion for him.
During an early stay in the Bay Area, Shifrin picked up a few piano gigs and gradually drifted back to full-time pianist, occasionally barking out a vocal for fun.
Moving first back to Los Angeles, he eventually landed a gig on the cruise ships in Hawaii. For several years he served as an apprenticeship there, buffing up his repertoire and his solo performance chops.
Since relocating back to San Francisco in the early nineties, Shifrin has been gigging non-stop. At first, he backed vocalists Bob Dalpe and Kim Nalley. Later, he branched off on his own with his trio, Eric & The In Crowd featuring his piano and voice. This band performed hundreds of times at nearly every venue in the city.
Shifrin has also traveled to Brazil, Switzerland, and Japan for performances.
Since the turn of the century, Eric has been the house pianist at local historical landmark: The Fairmont San Francisco. He currently plays solo piano three nights a week. Eric Shifrin & The In Crowd plays jazz every Saturday night and is in their third year of performing there.
Paul (“Pazzo”) Mehling has been a professional musician for over 30 years. He is the founder and lead guitarist of the Hot Club of San Francisco, a group dedicated to performing and recording Gypsy-Swing music. They have released nine CDs and have appeared at festivals throughout the world dedicated to Django Reinhardt and other jazz manouche musicians.
An accomplished multi-instrumentalist (guitar, violin, bass, plectrum and tenor banjo, mandolin), Paul has toured as a member of Dan Hicks’ Acoustic Warriors, appearing on Austin City Limits and many other venues.