Mystik Knights is a “New Orleans Party Band’ that was founded in Asheville, NC by Fritz Beer (lead vocals) and Elzy Lindsey (drums). Elzy is a 7th generation New Orleanian who relocated to Asheville after Hurricane Katrina. His love of the native sounds found on the corner bar jukeboxes of his youth was the genesis of the Mystik Knights. This pair of experienced and skilled players rounded up some Asheville-area musicians to complete the band. This 8-piece groove machine is now ready to light up dance floors and festival stages, bringing The Meters, Lee Dorsey, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Clarence Henry, Lloyd Price, Fats Domino, Eddie Bo, and many more to the people!
Meet the band:
Fritz Beer, vocals
Fritz, the Mystic Knights’ lead male singer, has over 20 years experience as a performing and recording artist. He was front man of Asheville band The Crooked Beat and several bands, from St Louis to New Orleans. As a recording artist, Fritz Beer’s original compositions have appeared in many films and television shows. Beer has recently received an ASCAP Achievement Award for his published works.
Elzy Lindsey, drums
Elzy began his musical journey in the corner bars of the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans, where his dad set him up next to the jukebox with his little toy drum set. He honed his chops playing in bands throughout his teens and twenties in New Orleans' burgeoning Punk and New Wave Scene and has continued his love affair with drumming ever since. Relocating to Asheville in 2005, Elzy has stayed busy, playing drums in a variety of bands. His passion for the music of New Orleans led to the formation of Mystik Knights, fulfilling a lifelong dream to play this great American music live.
Eric Ciborski, Keyboards
Born and raised in New Jersey, Eric began formal classical training on piano starting at 5.
Upon entering high school, he began to study jazz theory and improvisation. After high school, Eric played in various bands, gigging regionally throughout NJ, NY, and PA. In 2005, Eric moved to New Orleans where he went "back to school" soaking in more of the swampy grooves, thick history, and vibe of the city. In 2007, Eric relocated to Asheville, NC where he continues to play solo and in bands around the region, including Mystik Knights, where his keys are featured on many of the band’s tunes.
Kendra Penland, vocals
Kendra Penland started her musical career as a jazz singer in Chapel Hill, NC in the late ‘90s. After a lengthy break from the music world to raise kids, get degrees, and build careers, she's started Raconteuse Consulting, a PR firm, and is now singing again as much as humanly possible. Aside from singing with Mystik Knights, Kendra also performs with Melodic AF (an eclectic mix of genres and decades), Lady & the Tramps (jazz and blues), and Public Works (‘70s and ‘80s soul & funk).
Garrick Smith, baritone sax
A Chicago cat, Garrick has performed, toured, and recorded with Chicago Afrobeat Project, Otis Rush, Mucca Pazza, Tony Allen, Seun Kuti, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), Jon Faddis, Cyro Baptista, Big Gigantic, Jennifer Hartswick, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Garrick has 30 years of experience playing woodwinds and brings a wealth of musical knowledge to Mystik Knights.
Gabe Holguin, trumpet
Gabe currently plays in Asheville Community Band, Smoky Mountain Brass Band and Land of The Sky Symphonic Band. His lifelong passion for playing the trumpet brings energy to the Mystic Knights horn section. By day, Gabe is a bike mechanic at Carolina Fatz, here in the biking mecca of Western NC.
Mark Kadowaki, guitar, trombone, backing vocals
Mark began trombone lessons in 3rd grade, playing in school concert bands, orchestras and jazz bands through college. He started guitar in high school and funneled that through classic rock. Growing up in Chicago, Mark was also immersed in the blues and became heavily rooted in that unmistakable sound. Mark also currently plays in Ant Bee’s Jam and Fretzwerks.
James Fisher, bass, backing vocals
James is originally from Washington, DC and has lived in Asheville since 1995. He has played in a number of bands, performing original and cover music of all kinds. He currently lays down the bass grooves in Blue Dragons, Melodic AF, Liz Teague Band, and MoonFish 2. Playing in Mystik Knights brings a lifelong love of New Orleans music to life for James. He is beyond thrilled to be part of the project.
“Yeah U Rite!”