Con Brio on Playing Soul Music, Needing a Van, and the Serendipity of Craigslist
After just two years on the San Francisco scene, Con Brio has released a full-length album, performed at Great American Music Hall, and played shows all over the city -- but none of that probably would have happened without a Craigslist ad and some serendipity. Somehow, the members of Con Brio even did it without a car.
They've made the rounds here and in Santa Cruz, winning over crowds with vocalist Xandra Corpora's powerhouse voice and a blend of soul, blues, and funk. Next month, they're set to open up the main stage at SF Weekly's All Shook Down Music Fest at Regency Ballroom. Ahead of the show, we sat down at the Mission's Cafe Petra with band members Xandra Corpora (vocals, guitar; sesame seed bagel), Jonathan Kirchner (bass; tuna melt), and Micah Dubreuil (organ, piano; iced coffee) to talk about their journey thus far.
How did Con Brio get started?
Jonathan: It kind of came together step by step with Xandra being a solo musician. She and I met first actually from a Craigslist ad that she posted, which never works [laughs].
Micah: This is the success of the Internet, right here.
Jonathan: And then Micah and I met through a mutual friend.
Micah: My roommate from college dated his sister in New York, and they set us up on a playdate.
Jonathan: That's how I lured Micah into the band. I own a Hammond organ and was like, "Come over and plaaay it!" [laughs]
Micah: He just e-mailed me at some point and was like, "Hi, my sister said you're cool and we should hang out. I don't know what you play but I play the bass and I have a Hammond organ in my bedroom, come hang out." And I was like, "Yes! Done." It was like a trap.
Jonathan: Our drummer actually saw the three of us play at an open mike in our first couple of weeks as a trio, when we were looking for drummers specifically. It worked out pretty well actually.
What's the S.F. scene like for you as a jazzy, bluesy, soul kind of band?
Xandra: Me personally, I don't have really any previous experience with bands -- this is my first band. So it's awesome, because for me it's just playing music in a band, you know? And we've been pretty successful in the market that we have here.
Jonathan: There's something really excellent about San Francisco. In many ways, there's a space for whatever you're doing. There's a space for everybody [laughs]. It's not just like, "This is what we do here. This is a baseball city." This is an everything city.