Hoi Polloi is a world jazz ensemble featuring international jazz guitar sensation, Mark Oi, who toured and studied with the late legendary jazz saxophonist John Tchicai. Mark currently tours Europe seasonally with one of the founding fathers of roots reggae, Clinton Fearon (The Gladiators). Making his home in the Bay Area, Mark’s passion remains in original jazz composition and performance. His new project, Hoi Polloi, greek for, “the people” and a play on his last name, combines his experience with world and jazz music styles, bringing to the Bay Area a fresh new take on jazz that features his dynamic original compositions crafted over his many years of experience.
Mark Oi - Guitar
Mark Oi has been performing professionally for 20 years, both nationally and internationally, in a variety of genres and formats. Most recognized for his decade of tours, recordings, and collaborations with saxophone legend John Tchicai, Oi has worked with many notable musicians including touring/recording with Danish jazz ensemble Ok Nok Congo, and performances with countless other individuals.
His work as a sideman and band leader has led him to perform in venues/locations ranging from the Knitting Factory (NYC), Bauhaus (Germany), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz), Jazz Haus (Copenhagen), Yoshi's (Oakland), to the Monterey Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Sixteenth Annual Festival of Saint Marie on the island of Sol (Cape Verde), Carnivale! (Vancouver, BC) Greifswald Jazz Festival (Germany), and art galleries around the world.
Oi has been a special guest with the Copenhagen Art Ensemble and has had featured performances broadcast on both Danish and German National Radio. Current projects include Plastic System, a Seattle based groove trio, the Qhromatics, and Kamigakari. A concert of Oi's original works will be featured as part of the Cornish Music Series in Spring 2006.
Oi holds a BA in Fine Art from University of California at Davis, and a BM in composition and performance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA.
Chris Sommers - Bass
Chris Sommers is a multi-instrumentalist and bass player who started performing live music in Davis, CA, as a young teenager, eventually becoming the bass player for the funk & r&b band, The Fellas, and studying with local Sacramento legends, Rick Zamora (guitar) and Eric Everett (drums).
In the mid 90's he joined forces with fellow musicians Phil Adams, Aaron Chaiclin, and Cyrus Madan to form the instrumental funk jazz band, Good Foot.
Upon relocating to the East Bay Area, where he was born, his passion for rock, jazz, and fusion styles of music continued with many new projects such as The Kevin Beatles Band (original rock), Your Favorite Shirt (cover rock), Dig Deeper (original rock), On One (Instrumental Jazz), The Vincent Robinson Collective (Jazz) and the Michael Bush Quartet (Jazz).
In 2014, Chris's long time friend and mentor, Mark Oi, relocated to the East Bay. After several jam sessions, the stage was set for the musical reunion which has become their new instrumental world jazz band, Hoi Polloi.
Aaron Chaiclin - Drums
Aaron Chaiclin has been living and performing in San Francisco and the Bay Area for the past twenty years. He's been involved in a variety of bands and musical styles, including Brandi Shearer (alt rock), Today's Soup (jazz), Drizzoletto (eclectic), Dig Deeper (rock), Forrest Sun (singer-songwriter) and Grooming the Crow (alt country), just to name a few.
Aaron has been studying drums and percussion for over thirty years. He has performed in a number of orchestras, ensembles and bands across the country including a stint as the principal percussionist of the UC Davis Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Kern Holoman.
After the death of his long-time Davis, CA funk band, BFJ & the Booty Sanctuary, Aaron decided to move to San Francisco to pursue new opportunities, eventually connecting with Chris Sommers and Phil Adams to begin a new era of musical ventures.