The Pine Needles were founded in February of 2005 out of a love for the organic, vital tones of the American acoustic stringed instruments. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, the band has evolved from a duo with just bass and guitar, to a trio with mandolin, to a quartet with percussion, bass, guitar, and violin. The band began by performing mostly historic American folk and jazz standards from the 20th century, eventually turning to composing in a variety of genres including bluegrass, soul, acoustic folk rock, gypsy jazz, and progressive acoustic music. In 2010 the band released their self titled debut CD “The Pine Needles” which received several distinctions including being a finalist in the 8th annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) competition, and a 4 out of 5 star review from the United Kingdom's esteemed “Maverick” Magazine. The band's CD received significant international radio airplay and was added to the Pandora Music Genome Project and is heard on the Pandora site.
Josh Needleman - Acoustic Guitars & Vocals
Contest-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter, bass player Josh Needleman has performed on stage and recorded with many top flight musicians including David Grisman, Joe Craven, Don Cherry, Matt Butler (Everyone Orchestra/Hot Buttered Rum) , Archie Williams, Collage of i, Lucas Arts, Scribe, Nina Gerber, Carl Locket, Kit Walker and Symphony Parnassus.
Rami Ziadeh - Percussion & Vocals
Born in Jordan, percussionist Rami Ziadeh began studying Dumbeck at age three. By age ten Rami was performing with Middle Eastern dance groups and on radio broadcasts in Zerqua Jordan. At fifteen, Rami moved with his family to the United States. He continued his musical education by studying trap set drums with Roy Burns and the late Tony Williams, Tabla with the renowned Sri Swapan Chaduri and majored in music performance at the California Institute of the Arts. On the Cajon, Rami brings a unique style that combines Middle Eastern finger techniques with traditional Flamenco techniques. Currently, Rami is studying Classical Indian Vocals with Pandit Laxmi G. Tewari. Rami has recorded and performed with Pakistani world beat group “Ali Kahn”, flamenco guitarist Mark Taylor, the “Desert Wind” Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble, and with jazz legend Pharoah Sanders for the Alanzo King Ballet Company. He has accompanied flamenco dance artist: La Tanya, La Fibi Aire Flamenco, Alma Flamenca, and Sol Flamenco.
Keith Waters - Electric Bass
Keith Waters is an electric bassist from San Rafael, California. Keith is a Berklee College of Music alumni with a varied pallet of influences, from Weather Report, to Prince, and Nobuo Uematsu.
David Boyden - Fiddle & Mandolin
David Boyden has studied with noted violinists in the Bay Area, including Kate Stenberg of the Del Sol String Quartet, and Zak Grafilo and Fred Lifsitz of the Alexander String Quartet. He attended San Francisco School of the Arts (now Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts) from 2004 to 2008. Immediately afterwards, in the summer of 2008, he was whisked away to the Walden School's Young Musicians Program in Dublin, New Hampshire, an experience that drastically changed his perception of life and music. He has spent the succeeding years at San Francisco State University, studying with the Alexander String Quartet and pursuing a degree in classical violin performance, where he was awarded the Theodore Presser Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year. In addition to performing with the Pine Needles, he plays regularly with the 29th St. Swingtet, a six-piece swing and jazz manouche ensemble, and After Everything, a new music ensemble, both of which are based in San Francisco. In 2009, he attended Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp in New York City, and was subsequently immersed in improvisational techniques and fiddle traditions from across the globe. In 2012, he was honored to serve as an intern for the Chrysalis Foundation in San Francisco, performing the music of Cris Forster on his original acoustic instruments tuned in just intonation. David is enthused and honored to play with The Pine Needles.