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Joan Wasser


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Wasser began her career during her studies at Boston University where she was an early admittance student studying with the renowned Yuri Mazurkevich, who himself had studied under Russian violin virtuoso David Oistrakh. She played with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra before joining local bands the Lotus Eaters, Hot Trix with Mary Timony, and the Dambuilders.

During her time in the Dambuilders, Wasser first began to make a name for herself in the indie rock world and where she developed her aggressive style of playing, which lead to work outside of the group. In the late 1990s, Wasser began to explore more musical paths than those limited only to violin playing, adding guitar and keyboard parts to the Dambuilders recordings, singing vocals, as well as co-writing several songs. Examples of these new explorations can be heard on the Dambuiders’ Against the Stars: On both “Luster” and “Itch It”, Wasser wrote the lyrics and handled the lead vocals. Due to disillusionment, creative malaise, and a need to expand their respective musical horizons, the Dambuilders disbanded in October 1997. In May of the same year, her lover, rumored fiance and one-time bandmate, Jeff Buckley, drowned accidentally, in Memphis, Tennessee.

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