Eleven Eyes

Charity to Hold Concert in Honor of Nima Gibba’s Memory


Charity to Hold Concert in Honor of Nima Gibba’s Memory

Nate Gartrell, EDN

A picture of Nima at age 11. Photo courtesy of Eliman Gibba

Roughly one year ago, the parents of Nima Gibba, the Eugene girl killed in one of the city’s deadliest car crashes, sought to create a charity foundation in her name.

In January, they achieved that goal; Nima’s Wish became a registered non-profit, dedicated to bringing aid to impoverished West Africans. Now, the charity foundation is set to hold its first fundraiser, a concert, on May 3, 2012, from 6:30-Midnight at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene.

The concert, called Spring Forward, will feature popular local acts Eleven Eyes, and The Sugar Beets. Blues player Mike Tracey, and the local duo Bajuana Tea will do sets as well.

Also performing will be the popular local band Sol Seed, which recently returned from a tour in California. A six-person group, Sol Seed produces a reggae/funk sound, and was recently selected as the people’s choice for WOW Hall’s Best New Act in 2001.  NOTE: Local reggae band Sol Seed was scheduled to play, but cancelled Thursday, due to a scheduling conflict. Another reggae band, Fire in the Rootz, has agreed to take their place.

The Denbaya Drum and Dance group will also perform, as well as a Hip-hop dance group from the University of Oregon

“We want to start grassroots and involve as many groups as we can,” Eliman Gibba, Nima’s father, said. “It just makes sense to bring in as many people as possible.”

The Sugar Beets play danceable folk rock and have a strong local following. They’re also scheduled to headline the Burnt Woodstock festival in July. The members of Sugar Beets met at their University of Oregon dorm hall, and and the band has stayed together for the 22 years since, Marty Chilla, guitar player and singer for the band, said.

“We still have so much fun, so we keep on going,” Chilla said. “It’s one of the big bright spots and joys of our lives to play together.”

Eleven Eyes member Tim McLaughlin, who plays mostly trumpet, said that his group plays frequent charity shows, but that the Nima’s Wish founders seemed particularly organized and dedicated.

“When someone’s going to this amount of effort for an event, especially for a good cause, it’s nice to be a part of it,” McLaughlin said.

Some of the money raised from the concert will go towards providing immediate aid to West Africa, and some will be used to organize a larger musical fundraiser during the summer, Nima’s stepmother Alexandra Sianis, who runs the non-profit with Eliman, said.

Nima's tombstone is engraved with the phrase "Hanken nu bom," which in Eliman's language means, "Keep on dancing."

“We’d like to have a big summer event, with workshops,” Sianis said, to educate people about social issues in Gambia. She and Eliman want to raise money to provide impoverished Gambians with efficient wood-burning stoves, solar water pumps, and to teach them to farm more sustainably.

KMTR’s Angela Brauer has agreed to be the event’s emcee. She’s covered the Gibba family for the last couple years, and said she’s most impressed that Eliman and Sianis have publicly emphasized that they harbor no hatred towards the person who was convicted of causing Nima’s death.

“Many families in their position will ask for the worst to happen [to the perpetrator], and understandably so,” Brauer said. “But they haven’t–they’re a special family.”

Nima was 11 years old in 2009 when she was killed, while carpooling home from school, by a drunk driver, who initiated the crash by running a red light. Heather Mulgrave, 36, Connie Vermilyea, 34, and Jaziah Vermilyea, 10, were also killed.

A close friend of Nima’s, Jakobi Mulgrave, then 10, was seriously hurt, but survived and recovered from his physical injuries. Matthew Ellmers, the man responsible for the accident, is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence.

The couple dedicated Nima’s Wish to raising money for aid to impoverished Gambians because much of Nima’s ancestry is based there. Eliman is a Gambian citizen, and the couple traveled there in 2010 to visit family and give Nima’s clothing and toys to Gambian schoolchildren.

The Eleven Eyes band. Photo courtesy of Tim McLaughlin

Because Nima attended Kennedy Middle school and was passionate about dancing, students from there will be performing dance routines during the intervals. Some of Nima’s friends will also do dance routines.

All acts on the bill have agreed to donate their time, which has been a great help for Nima’s Wish, Sianis and Eliman said.

“It’s really heartwarming that they’re willing to extend their hearts for the cause,” Sianis said of the bands.

A late scratch to the show was Jah Sun, a well-known reggae artist from Humboldt County. Jah Sun, who also goes by Jason McCommas, was forced to remove his name from the bill because he’d previously agreed to travel to Africa to work on a project with Ethiopian children, called Youths of Shasha.

“No parent should have to go through what the Gibba family is going through,” Jah Sun said, when he was still scheduled to play. “As a father, my heart goes out to them for their loss, and the other families as well.”

Jah Sun’s publicist, Elliot Blair, said that nothing short of an international engagement would have kept Jah Sun from the show, and that they were both sorry he couldn’t make it. Sol Seed has agreed to perform in his place.

The McDonald Theater is located at 1010 Willamette St., in Eugene. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Ticket prices are as follows: $18 if placed in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 with a valid student identification.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-992-TIXX or through TicketsWest


The lineup for Spring Forward. Please note that Sol Seed is now slated to play in Jah Sun's place.

A Conversation with Tim McLaughlin from Eleven Eyes


A Conversation with Tim McLaughlin from Eleven Eyes

Nate Gartrell, EDN

Eleven Eyes members posing with their instruments. The full group. Photo courtesy of Tim McGlaughlin

Eleven Eyes is a local band that plays upbeat, jazz, and also incorporates a modern electronic sound. The Portland Tribune called them “impossible to categorize,” and the six of them combined know how to play at least 20 different instruments.

On May 3rd, 2012, Eleven Eyes is scheduled to play at a benefit show at the McDonald Theater, for the Nima’s Wish Foundation, a Eugene-based charity dedicated to raise money for aid to impoverished West Africans. Nima’s Wish was founded by the parents of Nima Gibba, a girl killed by a drunk driver three years ago in one of Eugene’s deadliest car crashes.

Recently, Eugene Daily News got a chance to speak with Eleven Eyes member Tim McLaughlin, who officially is listed as the group’s “trumpet, efx, laptop, samples, keys, beat programming, and percussion” player, but can also play guitar.

Eugene Daily News: How did you all come together as a group?

Tim McLaughlin I graduated from the U of O, and pulled together some people I was playing with at the time. Some of those people are still in the group, and we have some fresh blood in the band. We’re all friends, and in Eugene it’s a tight musical community, which lets you pick and chose who you play with.

EDN: Sounds like they’ve got you doing a bunch of things onstage. Can you clarify your role with the group?

TM: Well, it definitely keeps me on my toes, I get to have a lot of fun. I’ve been playing trumpet in the band forever, and been playing guitar for as long as that. But I also do a lot of looping, or add a little bit of texture; a little guitar for a second, then bring some trumpet back. Or I’ll add some keyboard sounds, or some stuff from my laptop rig.

It’s kind of a big pallet, I guess. In this particular band, it doesn’t seem necessary to have guitar or trumpet the whole time. It’s nice to diversify the sound, and keep things interesting.

Some of the group's instruments, but nowhere near all. Photo courtesy of Tim McGlaughlin

EDN: Do you improvise when you’re onstage, or how much of a game plan do you bring to an average performance?

We definitely have songs and compositions, but the greatest thing about this band is that we improvise the structure–not just improvising solos–everyone does that. It’s more about improvising the structure of the compositions, changing arrangements. We have a sophisticated set of cues, so we know how to get from one thing to another on the turn of a dime without necessarily talking about it.

We’ve been on a lot of tours over the years, and it’s obvious when we’re playing in places like Colorado, or Washington, or Eugene, that there’s a real open-mindedness to creative, original music. But, we’ve played in places like LA, where there’s a real structured scene–people try to fit in a format of a certain sound or genre, and we definitely stick out like a sore thumb in those types of places.

EDN: What types of music influence you guys? Where’s your musical background?

TM: We’re all inspired by the masters of our instruments, and also by their concepts. I’m inspired by Miles Davis’ concept of being able to morph his band and adapt to situations depending on who he was playing for. I really appreciate that aspect of music.

We’ve all been into an electronica sound, but at the same time, we’ve been playing a lot of Afro beats. We naturally merge them together, usually without even talking about it; we just start to play.

EDN: Do you have any upcoming shows, or releases people should know about?

The full group. Photo courtesy of Tim McGlaughlin

We’re actually going into the studio this weekend. We’re doing a live setting–just a bunch of high quality room mics and we’ll do everything live, with no overdubbing or anything. We’ll do full takes and we’re trying to get an analog sound to go with our electronica, funkadellic, Afro beat sound that we normally.

We want an old school recording, and we’re excited about it. We’re looking at a CD release show for that on June 9.

The Nima’s Wish Foundation concert will be on May 3, 2012, from 6:30-Midnight, at the MacDonald Theater in Eugene.

For more information on Eleven Eyes, visit their website HERE. For more information about Nima’s Wish’s history, CLICK HERE, or visit www.nimaswish.com

Friday Night On the Town


11/11/11 is numerical anomaly that has a few people taking notice. What with Veteran’s Day, the heralding of the “Age of Aquarius” on some calendars and a birthday party going on for the oldest bar in Eugene, there are plenty to choose from for a special “date” night.

Marv Ellis

Luckey’s is celebrating a centennial anniversary tonight; yes, the club has been around for 100 years, reinventing itself in various downtown locations.  During the prohibition years, Luckey’s was a cigar club and pool hall.  Today, indoor smoking is banned and the booze flows as fast as the bartenders can pull a tap.  What hasn’t changed is that Luckey’s is still a gathering place for folks looking to blow it out on a Friday night.

Often featuring local bands struggling to build an audience, Luckey’s is offering up the cream of the crop for their own birthday bash.  Matthew Hayward-Macdonald hales from Portland – just up the road a couple of hours.  A treat of a songwriter with a voice that draws you in to the original story lyrics, I imagine his laid back style has been selected for opening the show.  The harmonies are amazing, worth showing up early and sitting close to hear this emerging singer/songwriter.  Following up on the bill is Marv Ellis, an international hip-hop artist with three albums under his belt.

Reeble Jar

Ellis says he’s from Eugene, Portland and Mars.  I think he should pick one and go with it.  As the evening continues on, Eleven Eyes (Eugene Celebration and Whiteaker Block Party favorites) followed by Reeble Jar will keep the energy ratcheting up to an all out frenzy.  Expect a big crowd for this one.  Show starts at 9:00 with a $10 cover, next to nothing to get a dose of four great acts and a piece of the party.

Guitar lovers and aficionados are in for a treat with Willy Porter in town.  Appearing at Sam Bond’s tonight, Porter has been described as a guitar wizard.  After listening to “Available Light”, I simply want to hear more.  Ethereal and bluesy at the same time, I can see why Porter’s style is called “experimental”; he doesn’t follow the rules, he makes up his own.  “Hard Place” is a great tune for Veteran’s Day, a ballad about a Marine with the line “semper fi is not a slogan, but a living legacy.”   Show opens at 9:00, $15 at the door.

Willy Porter is in town

What is up with the 11/11/11 thing, anyway?  I guess the new age types think that something cosmic is being dished out by the universe astrologically and even thought the Age of Aquarius is supposed to start in December, 11/11/11 gets the ball rolling with great planetary vibes.  The Granary is getting in the spirit with Honey Vizer and Hansa El Din & His Happy Guitar.  Both of these performers specialize in that old-time Americana sound, but the show is billed as rock, go figure.

Finally, what better way to honor veterans and their special holiday than taking in a blues show at Mac’s at the Vet’s Club?  Featured at the 2011 Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes are offering up delicious slide guitar with gutsy vocals for a good time on one of the best dance floors in town.  Get out and get those feet moving, people.  See you there!

Original Music

Dave Norem, The Microbials: acousticWandering Goat – 9:00

Moondog Matinee, Giggle Party: Indie RockBlack Forest – 10:00

$1-11 Honey Vizer, Hansa El Din & His Happy Guitar: “11/11/11” Celebration; American folk; rockGranary – 10:00

$5 Betty & the Boy, Kendl Winter, Joe Capoccia: AmericanaAxe & Fiddle – 8:30

$10 One Hundredth Birthday Party! with Mathew Hayward-Macdonald, Eleven Eyes, Marv Ellis, Reeble Jar:  Rock, Fusion Luckey’s – 7:30

$15 Willy Porter: Singer/Song writer adult alternativeSam Bond’s – 9:00

Cover & Tribute Bands

Milepost, Downseekers: RockMulligan’s – 9:30
Coupe De Ville: Classic rock covers Embers – 8:30
Blazin’ Eddie: Party RockHappy Hours – 8:30
Rock ‘n Roll JamQuacker’s – 9:00
Manic Mechanics: ZZ Top cover bandVillage Green – 9:00
$3 Hemlock & the Entity: RockDowntown Lounge – 10:00

Blues, Jazz & Country

Gus Russell: Jazz, blues pianoLavelle’s – 6:00

Molly Nord: Piano Improv Hidden Valley – 6:00

Barbara Dzuro: Adult contemporary pianoGranary – 7:00

David Rogers: Classical guitarThe Beanery – 7:00

Christie & McCallum: Americana, Johnny Cash coversWest End Tavern – 8:00

The Essentials: Soul/R & BOak St. Speakeasy – 9:00

$5 Keith Anderson, Brian McComas, Aaron Benward, Bump in the Road: CountryWhiskey River Ranch – 9:00

$6 Kevin Selfe & the Tornadoes:  BluesMac’s – 9:00

$10 Matt Hayhall, Storm Nilson: JazzJazz Station – 8:00

Dance, DJ, Hip Hop, Other

Trivia Night: Interactive game with prizes – Rogue Public House – 8:00
Philly Phunkstra, The Longshots: Funk, SoulCozmic Pizza – 8:00
Freek-Nite Party with Audio Schizophrenic: DJ DanceCowfish – 9:00
Patrick & Girl: Acoustic O’Donnell’s – 9:30
DJ Crown: Raggae, hip hopDavis’ – 10:00

LA Thompson-EDN

Eleven Eyes


Eleven Eyes

Afro-beat / Funk / Nu-Jazz

Tim McLaughlin – trumpet, samples, percussion, laptop, keys, guitar, EFX, conch shell
Matt Calkins – sax, percussion, EFX
Joe Freuen – trombone, percussion
Ben Scharf – keyboards
Merlin Showalter – drums
Sean Peterson – bass guitar

Eleven Eyes

The Eugene-based band, Eleven Eyes has been together since 2003.  With two CD’s under their belt, Down Perception (2003) and the more recent Scope (2010) this band incorporates a variety of instruments, including a laptop full of samples and effects, along with a saxophone and trombone.  Combining many genres of music including jazz, funkadelic, afrobeat, and neo-psychedelic this band has been trying on members in the past, but now seem to have the proper mix of people to generate their full-bodied sound.

Playing festivals including Emerg+N+See Music Fest,  Reggae on the Mountain Music Festival, Jazz at Newport, The Bite of Seattle, Corvallis Fall Festival as well as the Salem Art Fair this sextet earned the WOW Hall Favorite Local Band back to back years in 2005 & 2006, as well as being recognized locally as the best jazz band 2005 -2008.

Eleven Eyes