Zoe Guigueno is a bassist, vocalist, composer, and music educator. Most recently she has been working with avant-pop string band Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, Americana ensemble Della Mae, and klezmer collective Michael Winograd and the Honorable Mentshn. She has toured in over 20 countries, busked in a pink gorilla costume in the New York subway, performed on CBS and the Grand Ole Opry, played upright bass on a moving white-water raft, and written and recorded two albums of her own material.
For many years she was the bassist with the Grammy-nominated, Americana group Della Mae, which toured with legendary comics and actors Steve Martin and Martin Short. Della Mae also appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN; the Fillmore in San Francisco, CA; and the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. In 2015 they were named by Rolling Stone as one of “Ten New Artists You Need To Know.”
Zoe also is a member of the collective Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, a singing string-quartet that tours internationally and has been described by PopMatters as “stunning” and “forward looking.” In the bluegrass world, apart from Della Mae, Zoe can often be found holding down the bass chair at the weekly Mona’s bluegrass jam in Manhattan, or sitting in with multiple bands at bluegrass festivals. She has toured with Jordan Tice, Jim Lauderdale, and Peghead Nation colleagues Scott Nygaard and Joe K. Walsh.
Originally from British Columbia, and for many years a local to Toronto where she studied jazz at Humber College, Zoe moved to the United States in 2013 to join fellow Peghead instructor Wes Corbett in the virtuosic, influential string band Joy Kills Sorrow. Together they toured the US and Europe and recorded the EP Wide Awake. They performed at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, CA, and for millions of listeners on Garrison Keillor’s show A Prairie Home Companion.
At home in NYC, Zoe has become a first-call bassist for some of the top klezmorim in the US. She is a regular member of the ensemble Tsibele, a group that performs material drawn from Yiddish poems, Romanian folk music, and Moldovan/Bessarabian influences. She also tours with clarinetist, composer and bandleader Michael Winograd, trombonist/composer Dan Blacksberg, and trumpet player/composer Frank London, and has performed at Klezkanada, Yiddish New York, and Ashkenaz Festival.
Zoe also works in the theatre. In 2017 she had an onstage role in the Dora Award-nominated production “Passing Strange” in Toronto. She has also worked for three consecutive years as bassist for the Hunts Point Alliance for Children’s Shakespeare productions, presented in collaboration with the New York Shakespeare Society.
As well as working as a recording and touring artist, Zoe has taught privately, as well as conducted masterclasses at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Ossippee Valley String Camp, Fiddleworks, Nashcamp, and KlezKanada. Through her extensive touring with Della Mae through the US State Department’s American Music Abroad program, she has also taught at universities and music schools in Russia, Jordan, Vietnam and Bangladesh.
In the fall of 2018 Zoe released her first solo recording, an EP simply titled Five Songs. Since then she has written and recorded a full-length album, again with producer Alec Spiegelman, which was released in the spring of 2020.