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The Stinkfoot Orchestra pulls no punches – delivering 2 sets of Frank’s music via a 15-piece ensemble which incorporates a 6-piece horn section, tuned percussion and 5 vocalists.
Founded in 2019 by Nick Chargin – a 35-year veteran of the SF Bay Area music scene, the Stinkfoot Orchestra spent the pandemic honing their craft and are finally bringing the fruits of their labor to the stage. And, with the iconic voices of Zappa alumni leading the charge, the band leaves even the most critical Zappa fan pining for more.


In the early months of 2019, South Bay musician Nick Chargin (keyboards and vocals) got a wild hair up his ass. Best known for his work with BlissNinnies, Elephino and the successful Bay Area cover band, the Houserockers, Nick had the idea of assembling an ensemble to give a tip of the hat to one of his greatest musical influences – Frank Zappa.
But it couldn’t be just any band…
There had to be horns.
There had to be a mallet player.
There had to be backup singers.
This had to be more than a band that was capable of playing “all the right notes” – it had to be a band that was capable of performing Frank’s music with accuracy and integrity.
The first two people he contacted were Victor Manning (a guitarist with whom Nick had played music with for well over 20 years) and Jon Hassan (a Baritone/Tenor Sax player and fellow member of the Houserockers) – who were both rabid fans of Frank’s music. With their buy-in, Nick quickly filled out the rhythm section with friends and fellow Zappaphiles Michael Palladino (drums) and Josh Baker (bass)(Later to be replaced by Joey Fabian, aka Joey Fabiano) . It took some time to fill the mallet player slot, but after scaring away multiple Bay Area orchestral percussionists, they found a musician willing to take on the enormous challenge of covering Ruth Underwood’s impossible lines in Shota Otaguro (tuned percussion). The 6-piece horn section came together by enlisting Rick Brown (Trombone)Kevin Kono (Trumpet, Flugel Horn)Jo Major (Tenor/Soprano Sax and Flute)Mike McWilliams (Trumpet), and Paul Degen (Tenor/Alto/Bari Sax and Flute). The ensemble was eventually rounded out with 3 dedicated vocalists – Lizie SkowLainey Leone, and Mike Boston .

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