Performing Band Members' Bios:

Aliza Amihude

  • Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba and raised in Winnipeg on Nana Maskouri, Jaques Brel, and Yemenite prayers, Aliza has been singing odd songs in various voices since she was a young child. 
  • Aliza has had the privilege of living in Montreal for 7 years, and for 1 year each in Jakarta, Calgary, and northern Israel. She also travelled in Great Britain, France, Egypt, India, turned 23 and 32 in Bangkok and travelled through Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Burma, and on the islands of Java, Bali, Sumbawa, Flores, and Rinca in Indonesia..
  • Aliza studied voice with Trisha Pope in Montreal, Cindy McLeod in Calgary, and Alicia Kietta Seaborn in Winnipeg.
  • Singing and performing is her greatest passion but she is also a trained art jeweller and teaches jewellery-making at schools throughout Manitoba.  Aliza has received many awards for her sculptural one-of-a-kind jewellery.  She mixes precious metals and gems with materials like sand, twigs, hair, etc. to express her belief that the entire universe is precious.
  • She met Joseph Fullmer, her husband of 6 years, at Burning Man 2000.  Originally from Oregon, Joseph moved to Winnipeg after living in Maui for two years.  Together, they completely gutted and rebuilt an old home in historic North Point Douglas, where they live, create, and garden with their cat, Puppy.
  • Aliza is 4’10” and speaks four languages.

Jeff Presslaff

  • Is a former New Yorker who transplanted to Winnipeg in the 90’s, and enjoys his life as a jazz pianist, trombonist, composer, producer, and teacher.
  • He studied music at Princeton and Wesleyan Universities and has been a member of prestigious music faculties including Bard, Union College, and Princeton
  • Has worked with Benny Carter, Bill Baron, Ed Blackwell, Roswell Rudd, Rick Margitza, Stanley Jordan, George Garzone, Prudence Johnson, and many others.
  • Recorded an album of original compositions, Collective Unconscious (1991), featuring Steely Dan’s saxophonist, Cornelius Bumpus, and UI bassist, Wilbo Wright.  Jeff has also recorded with many Manitoba musicians.
  • His compositions and instrumental work have been heard worldwide on CBC
  • Jeff was awarded Manitoba Jazz Musician of the Year in 2004

Gilles Fournier

  • Has the very busy life as the first-call bass player in Manitoba, for almost every genre, although, he plays mostly jazz.
  • Studied at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia and also under Rufus Reid.
  • Has performed and recorded with international jazz musicians Bobby Hitcherson, Kevin Embanks, Arturo Sandoval, Atilla Zoller, Paqito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, “Smitty” Smith, Fred Penner, Shirley Jones, James Keelaghan, Clarke Terry, and many more.
  • Recorded and released Bootleg, a live album by his funky band, EgoSpank.  Check out

Scott Senior

  • His depth of knowledge in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion has led Scott to be one of the most in-demand percussionists in Manitoba
  • He studied in both Havana, Cuba and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Just finished touring a large part of the planet with Juno Award winners, The Duhks.  Check out
  • His passion for music and originality is what makes his music multi-dimensional and surprising, the perfect fit for small girl.

ALIZA’s FAVOURITE QUOTE (when she changes the word God to the word, good):

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, which most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”  Actually, who are we not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.  There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Nelson Mandela





Big Banana - Album Release History