“Beth Fleenor transcends labels – a multi-talented, creative force in Seattle.” (City Arts Magazine 2010)

“…a supremely versatile and virtuosic maverick” (The Stranger 2011)

“exceptional clarinetist” (Seattle Times 2013)

“excellent” (New York Times 2013)

“one of the most fearless and innovative musicians in the city…” (Earshot Jazz 2014)

“Crystal Beth….fare perhaps best described as world music from an imaginary planet — or at least one recently visited by Yoko Ono….quite compelling and magical….” (Seattle Times 2014)

“Crystal Beth creates her own sonic cult through stage thrashing her way through “cathartic hardcore purge pop,” and wielding psychedelic clarinet melodies and bethnic chants.” (The Stranger 2016)

“If you’re getting tired of music that’s even remotely formulaic, Beth Fleenor is for you. Her experimental mixing of genres is powerful and refreshing.” (Seattle Weekly 2017)

“You can find {Crystal Beth} fearlessly indulging her wildest creative inklings whenever she materializes in a musical forum…Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band falls somewhere between the grisly skronk-punk of Stickers and earthy freak-indie of tUnE-yArDs, but even fans of those left-of-center acts will be thrown for a loop. Wailing vocals not bound to any conventions but {her} own, paired with percussive “Bethnic chants,” are set over freely drawn jazz figures and world-y rhythms.” (The Stranger 2016)

“Beth Fleenor – aka Crystal Beth – is an undeniable, unstoppable musical force, and one of Seattle’s treasures. She uses her voice and clarinet – not to mention the deep connections she forms with her collaborators – to channel strange, disturbing, and beautiful sounds into existence from beyond most of our imaginings. “Battle Cry” has no words that would be recognized in any language, but words would be needless ornament here. The band’s joyful, stomping skronk and Beth’s chants and shrieks bypass the language centers of the brain and drill directly into the deepest, primal folds, beckoning you to surrender to sound, to find peace and clarity through a modicum of musical insanity.”  (Ball of Wax 2017)

“Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band are what happens when accomplished jazz musicians decide to take a reckless holiday in the rock realm. The Seattle group—led by the feral vocalizing and bass clarinet of Crystal Beth and featuring the flagrantly virtuosic guitar of Tristan Gianola—assay a kind of artful, deranged rock that recalls the Dirty Three and the Geraldine Fibbers at their most agitated and, alternately, at their most lugubrious. Check out the waltz-time rager of “Flesh” off Yugen 3 for evidence of the former.” (The Stranger 2016)

“The music moved through lyrical passages and primal bursts, and back again. The experience attained the nature of ritual, a ritual comprised of both tribal and cosmopolitan dimensions….{later} Fleenor put the woodwind aside and used her voice to incant voluminous melodies and howl with the guttural tones of a tortured beast.”
(Caleb Thompson / The Monarch Review 2011) (Mother May I installation)

“alternately buoyant and ponderous, transfixing and exceptional”
(City Arts Magazine 2013)

“Beth Fleenor has the ability to make hissing, primal wails and high-pitched singing into some incredible music. Julius Caesar’s death has never looked so beautiful on stage.” (City Arts Magazine 2010)
(from Freehold’s Engaged Theater production of Julius Caesar)

“Each {Workshop Ensemble improvisation} lingered in time…. Sounds orbited around crescendo and eschewed discernable groove, cohering in ways I couldn’t enumerate but made emotional sense. They appeared spontaneously, assumed immediate presence, almost solidity, then were gone. The musicians onstage never wavered in their intent or power, then ended in unspoken unison. For all its structural ambiguity and lofty purpose, the music evoked a very real sensation of collective exploration and consensus resolution.”
(City Arts Magazine / Jonathan Zwickel: Mad Explosive Spontaneity 2013)

“Fleenor performs with emotional immediacy and good humor. Her tone is vibrant and full bodied, and her ideas fertile.” (All About Jazz 2004)

“An adventurous clarinetist” (The Stranger 2005)

“Led by clarinetist Beth Fleenor, Figeater make improvised music that ranges from insistently propulsive and buoyant – Fleenor can channel the spirit of Raymond Scott with aplomb – to aloof atmospheres, thugged-up backbeats, and loony, melismatic rants. (The Stranger 2008)

“I don’t know if Fleenor would point to chamber music as a direct influence or even a tertiary influence, but I heard Stockhausen, Cage and Reich in the Figeater set. “ (City Arts Magazine 2010)

“Daringly, {Figeater} was down right pretty, not a term often associated with free improv…while later it was visceral, convulsive and more than a bit creepy….” (Seattle Weekly 2007)

“Clarinetist/composer Beth Fleenor bases her cargo-cult band {Figeater} on the arrival of unhinged, uncorked, unkempt provocations from a small, raucous band of collaborators. Expect some wailin’, some keening, and some siren-singing too.” (Earshot Jazz 2008)


2020 Cover Feature: Earshot Jazz: Beth Fleenor – The Discipline of Being

2020 Press: Medium: On a Career Creating in 2020

2018 Press: City Arts Magazine: Let Yourself Go with Crystal Beth & the Boom Boom Band

2017 Press: Seattle Weekly / Best of Seattle – “Best Classical Musician”

The Artists, Actors, Companies and Curators that Move the City

2016 Press: City Arts Magazine: Actor/Composer Meets Clarinetist/Vocalist 

2015 Feature: Photographer Steve Korn’s “Talking Pictures: Leading Questions – Beth Fleenor”

2014 Press: Featured in All About Jazz – Beth Fleenor- The Discipline of Being

2013 Press: Featured in the Monarch Review
A Frank Interview With Crystal Beth Fleenor

2013 Feature Story: City Arts Magazine – Mad Explosive Spontaneity

2013 Review: NYTimes – Wayne Horvitz’s Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble

2011 Review: Featured in the Monarch Review, Beth Fleenor – Mother May I

2009 Press: Featured on One Working Musician, Makin’ It Happen – Beth Fleenor

2007 Press: Featured in Seattle Weekly Fall Arts Guide

Beth Fleenor Pushes New Music into the Ring

2007 Press: Featured in Earshot Jazz Magazine

Frankly, She Does Give a Damn: A Clarinetist’s Music and Advocacy of Others’


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