Chinese Fingertrap
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Chinese Fingertrap

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Band R&B Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Stone's Throw"

"Chinese Fingertrap is a Milwaukee based jam/jazz band with loads of talent."

-The Stones Throw (Eau Claire, WI Music Venue) -


"Chinese Fingertrap's music has such an influence on the way the audience moves that they are simply puppeteers and the audience their puppets."

-Nathan Coussens (KRUI Disk Jockey in Iowa City, IA) - Nathan Coussens

"In Your Ear - Chinese Fingertrap"

Posted: Dec. 28, 2006

Chinese Finger Trap is not the typical Milwaukee band.

What's the big tip-off? How about the fact that there's a saxophone player? Or that there's no guitarist?

And that's just for starters.

The five-piece band - which consists of Eric Frank on keyboards, vocals and percussion; Nathan Kamsler on sax; Brian Saulig on bass; and Cody Calderon and Sam Cianciola on drums and percussion - mixes a hodgepodge of musical genres that include funk and jazz.

"We try to incorporate a lot of funk," Frank said. "We try to keep it as funky as we can for a couple of white kids. We don't have a guitarist. That forces us to have a different sound."

The group's major influences include Modeski, Martin and Wood, the Flecktones and even Phish.

Formed in 2005, Chinese Finger Trap came together when Frank ran into Saulig, a former bandmate from a preteen grunge experiment.

"Hey, we should jam sometime," Frank told Saulig.

Chinese Finger Trap is the first time Frank, a long-time drummer, has played keyboard with a band. His noticeably percussive style is another element of the band's sound.

Despite the band's youth, things are going pretty well, Frank said. The band is playing shows across the Midwest, including Madison and Iowa City.

And Frank says there are plans to record an already-named album in Kentucky this spring. The album's name: "The Ball, The Chain and The Margarine Fly."
- MKE Magazine

"Musicians in the midst"

Milwaukee is a city known for many things. We’re home to the first working typewriter, “The Late Night Show� personality Tom Snyder and Oscar-winning actor Spencer Tracy. We’re a city familiar with the words “brat,� “cheese head� and “bubbler.�

But most of all, Milwaukee is a city of festivals and beer. With festivals and beer also comes music.

Milwaukee’s musicians have gained local fame through the various taverns, restaurants and events in which local music is supported in the area. As the weather continues to warm up, music fans will have the opportunity to experience our area talent through venues like Summerfest, Jazz in the Park, River Rhythms in Pere Marquette Park and local farmers markets.

In the spirit of local tradition, it’s time to shed some light on a few of the many musical talents within the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee community.

Band: Chinese Fingertrap

Genre: “Garage-funk�

UWM Connection: Vocalist, drummer and keyboardist Eric Frank is a student at UWM

Influences: Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive, Pink Floyd, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Band facts: Their album “The Ball, The Chain and The Margarine Fly� is near completion and will be available to the public in the next few weeks.

Where to see them next: Chinese Fingertrap plays regularly at the Mirimar Theatre and will kick off their out-of-state tour this summer. They will be performing at The Hat Trick Lounge in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday, May 19, and the Iowa City Yacht Club on Saturday, May 20. - The UWM Post

"Club Profile:The Hat Trick Lounge"

"...One such far-out band, Chinese Fingertrap—a really hot sax-led funky jazz band from Milwaukee—moved fluidly from Latin rhythms into a techno percussion funk jam session to postmodern electronic pop like a dream amalgamation of Frank Zappa, the Doors, spy music and P-Funk rolled into one. It was the perfect ear-popping backdrop to hearing the story of the Hat Trick Lounge’s emergence as a strong music venue..."

[] - Pulse of the Twin Cities

"Iowa City Yacht Club"

"Not really sure how these guys pull it off - they are one of the few out of town bands that has a great crowd down here - oh yeah, they are a ton of fun and put on a great show. You will have an awesome time at this one."

-Scott Kading (Promoter at the Iowa City Yacht Club) -

"Q&A With Chinese Fingertrap"

"Thank you for throwing a chink in the hegemony of Jam Rock, it's been a long time coming" - The Second Supper


Debut Album due to release in spring 2008.



Formed in November of 2005, Chinese Fingertrap has quickly emerged onto the midwest and national music scene. Their unique instrumentation compound with amazing musical enthusiasm to create a fresh, organic sound that appeals to all audiences. This five-piece ensemble is held together by the snapping rhythm section of Cody Schleichert on drums and Brian Saulig on bass. When the unique percussive keyboard playing of Eric Frank and the smooth saxophone licks of Nathan Kamsler are added, this band is about as good as it gets.

Completing the lineup is Chinese Fingertrap's newest member, vocalist Alyssa Voelker. Alyssa was gifted with an amazing voice that combines the power of Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt with the beauty and elasticity of Norah Jones.

CFT's summer of 2007 entailed many world-class festival appearances such as 10,000 Lakes (Detroit Lakes, MN), Wakarusa (Lawrence, KS), and Forecastle Fest (Louisville, KY) in which they shared the bill with an eclectic array of stellar artists. Some of these acts included: Galactic, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Ben Harper, Widespread Panic, Les Claypool, Bob Weir, Umphrey's McGee, Derek Trucks, Zappa Plays Zappa and many more. Now a full-time touring act, Chinese Fingertrap's progress has been rapidly accelerating. A spring 2008 release is expected for their debut album being produced by Dave Adler (Willy Porter Band).