American band playing roots, ska and dub.


For Immediate Booking Response, Contact Jimi Hawk :



Jimi Hawk

Jimi hawk is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and producer from San Francisco. Inspired by music from his hometown along with a broad spectrum of musical genres he honed his skills playing in bands from grade school through college. He moved to Humboldt county in 1978 with his then singer songwriter girl friend who he backed for years. His first band the Root Rockers were very successful and inspired many bands to follow including Rod Deal. He later went on to form Graffiti who continued to blaze the trail for the Reggae genre along with world beat ,rock, funk. He has toured and played with bands from SF, LA, Maui and Jamaica with styles ranging from Reggae, ska, funk, Hawaiian/slack key, folk rock, jazz, blues and new age. His most recent bands have been the Rezonators and True North.He is currently working on a compilation of original material at Bongo Boy Records

Kevin Miller

After several years on the road as a founding member of the award-winning ska-reggae band Monkey, Kevin has made his home among the redwoods making music and art. When he got the call from Checkered Past, it was an obvious fit from the first jam.

Justin Schwartzman

A lifelong musician who plays a wide variety of musical instruments to satisfy your soul. He plays with many Humboldt bands including Eyes Anonymous, and Silver Hammer. He is also a recording veteran playing on many records over the years. He is also the mastermind and creator of the world famous game "Bounskee"

Serg Mihaylo

“Find me deep in the pocket. My passion is the be the low end I want to see in the world." With a career spanning 15 years, I’ve been performing on stages throughout San Diego, Humboldt county and beyond.--

Tanasa Daniel

Tanasa Daniel was born in the bayou and destined to lay down the funky rhythms to move your soul. Drumming ever since the day his arms begin to move it's inevitable your gonna catch a groove. Well studied in a wide of variety of musical genres including Regge, Funk, Soul, Blues, Rock, Ska and all feel good positive music. Performing and touring since the age of 13. Has performed all over the U.S. at festivals including Reggae on the River, SXSW and thousands of other festival and venues. Ready to move your feet from the second he kicks the beat. It would be hard pressed to find someone that has more fun playing the drums for people all over the world.

Gene Joyce

Playing sax since the age of 10. Mostly a self-taught musician and a lover of all genres of music Gene cut his teeth playing big band jazz from his early days in high school and college. In addition to saxophone, Gene plays a little acoustic guitar, clarinet, oboe and if he can keep up enough breath without passing out, a little flute. Gene is credited with reviving the “Crabgrass Band”, a local community band beloved by our local Crabs baseball team and fans. His early career highlight was a 1983 Sumer European Jazz tour that included playing the stages of The North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

After graduating college Gene put his music life on hold to start a family and to running his business in downtown Arcata. Gene has be known to make very rare guest appearances over the years sitting in and playing with local musicians and events over the past 25 years.

Recently with his children now grown, Gene has closed is business, retired and is living his dream of traveling, backpacking, fishing and especially playing sax with Checkered Past and the College of the Redwoods Jazz Band. In addition to saxophone, Gene usually carries around a bag full of assorted “auxiliary” percussion that you’ll find him tapping, shaking and banging on stage.--

Sarah Fine

As a young child, Sarah Fine had three primary dreams: dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench; play trombone in a ska band; save the world (not necessarily to be accomplished in this order).

As time went on, it became clear what the first step must be. Although she wanted to learn the trombone first, Sarah’s mother, a wise guitar player and singer-songwriter, insisted that flute would be much more fitting. Conveniently enough, Sarah’s mother was dating a woodwind teacher at the time so Sarah started learning flute at age 11 or so, and eventually started honing her skills as a piccolo player. She has since picked up trumpet, F horn, and the saxophones. She can also play snare drum, but wishes she had enough natural dexterity for the drum kit. Trombone, and bass clef in general, are still a work in progress.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Sarah spent her adolescent summers in Loch Lomond, California. She moved to Arcata in 2010 after graduating high school, attracted to HSU for the area’s natural beauty and for the fact that she could play music while not being part of the university’s music department (choosing instead to major in International Studies - (see childhood dream #3).

In addition to playing in Checkered Past, she is also part of the Northern Humboldt based brass bands Loud Neighbors and Safety Corridor. She is also active in community groups such as the Humboldt Crabs’ Crabgrass Band and the Cal Poly Humboldt Marching Lumberjacks.

Nicole Miller

This is Nikki

Nikki likes music

This is Nikki's first band

She'll Figure it out

( Nikki is special * )

Legacy Members

Kris Sundeen


Kaeden Williams


Joey Incorcova

(Keys, Drums)

Surya Sardonicus


Checkered Past keeps our Sound blaring in Honor of our founding member,

Kris Sundeen

Kris Sundeen RIP - 2021

Kris was a saxophonist like no other, having a tenure in Humboldt County that spanned 3 decades. His dedication to the local music scene was unparalleled and we continue to carry his torch into the future.