The Wizards of Odds (WOO), sometimes called Isoji Presents Wizards of Odds, is a two to four piece
and more jazz ensemble that explores jazz from the early tunes of the 1930's to original tunes fashioned by members of the group. WOO plays for the organization Bread & Roses, private parties, and at every opportunity, especially social justice events. To contact us: Music:
WOO's core consists of Ricardo Moncrief on piano/keyboards and Stephenie Hendricks on vocals. Bassists Andy Dudnick and Bishu Chatergee often join us, as do drummers Dewey Sheffle, Chris Braun, and Ron Rosano. If James Mosely or Jay Stapleton are available on guitar, we welcome them as we have other artists to sit in with us.
Keyboardist Moncrief grew up in Detroit, where, as a child, he would sneak in back of the original Motown
studios and the many small jazz clubs, to hear a broad range of artists of the day, including who influenced his free and swinging style. After a distinguished career in the U.S. military, Ricardo returned to civilian life and has been a tireless advocate for human rights. He was instrumental in bringing the Health and Wellness Center to Marin City, and continues to work for affordable housing and services for the underserved in Marin County. He is developing a Health Prevention program aimed at all ages, featuring his original character “Madame Floodpuppy,” that educates all communities on the importance of understanding the value and the “how-to's” of preventing illness. Ricardo serves as musical director for the group, often taking standards and giving arrangements that breathe new life into an old tune. Ricardo is developing his website, but you can get an early peek here:
A relative latecomer to singing, Stephenie spent 25 years as a broadcast journalist working in radio and TV. For the past several years she has been working in the environmental health movement, assisting scientists, physicians and other advocates with communications strategies to elevate awareness about ubiquitous chemical exposure and rising rates of illness . When she suffered burst discs in her neck in the early 90's, Stephenie took up singing as a way to heal her neck injury. She began with a capella improvisation teachers Rhiannon, Joey Blake and Raz Kennedy. Former Sinatra band member Dori Green introduced her to jazz vocal phrasing. Stephenie met Ricardo at the Belrose Theatre Open Mic that she founded for her singing students. Stephenie prefers to present her vocals as an equal energy in the band, often soloing as an instrumentalist does. Though late to singing, her early years as a jazz deejay on the former KRE/KBLX Berkeley radio station in the 1970's afforded her years of listening to the great American art form, which reflects in her expression today.