New York City, New York, USA

Cutleri is an all-female trio from Brooklyn, NY who play an original blend of folk and experimental music. Cutleri is very chameleon-like, and these ladies have been known to veer off into sea shanties, chamber music, luminous harmonies, and raucous rhythms.


Cutleri is an all-women trio based in Brooklyn, NY who play an original blend of folk and experimental music, fashioning themselves as “chamber folk”. Since their formation in early 2009, Cutleri’s varied approach to genre has led them to veer off into sea shanties, chamber music, operatic vocal lines, lyric and dissonant three-part harmonies, and raucous rhythms within their songwriting. This eclectic repertoire is accompanied by an unorthodox instrumentation drawn from John Cage and the Fluxus artists of the sixties that features the sound of candlesticks, typewriters, and gardening equipment, allowing the group to transmute traditional folk, and redefine the genre for a contemporary audience. The performance of more conventional instrumentation within the band is approached with this same inspiration in mind, leading to otherworldly, abrasive violin licks combined with slippery, psychedelic clarinet lines, all underpinned by a banjo sound that can be melodious and soothing one moment, and percussive and arrhythmic the next.

This infusion of the avant-garde into traditional folk formats has allowed Cutleri to enjoy appeal to a wide range of audiences, enabling them to perform at a variety of music venues throughout the northeast. As a result, Cutleri has extended their versatility and innovation to their live performances, molding themselves to suit to intimate, acoustic venues like Pete’s Candy Store, The Chelsea Hotel, and Zebulon in New York City, as well as Zuzu at The Middle East in Boston and The Grape Room in Philadelphia, while enhancing their larger shows at NYC venues such as Monkeytown, Cinema Unseen in NYU’s University Settlement and Public Assembly with additional musicians, and visuals shaped for their performances in real time, courtesy of Waking Dream Visuals.

Cutleri is Jessie Shaffer (Fork), Heidi Harris (Knife), and Christen Napier (Spoon).

Jessie Shaffer is a classically trained violinist and self-trained singer who has been playing in bands and writing music since the late nineties and recently released her first solo album, Pulling at My Skirts. Her tastes range from the music of medieval composer Hildegard von Bingen, Meredith Monk and Pauline Oliveros to Rasputina, The Dirty Three and Bikini Kill.

Heidi Harris is a self taught musician focusing on a variety of styles. Her music often falls within the genre of New Weird America. Her creative practice is based on her understanding of, and intimacy with, a variety of traditional and non-traditional sound sources. Her most recent solo release is titled: In the Lee.

Christen Napier is originally a visual artist and her approach to music has always been quite visual as well. She is a self taught multi-instrumentalist, but her main instrument is the banjo, which she enjoys playing in styles ranging from clawhammer to experimental improvisation. Christen’s debut solo album, Arc Hive, is due for release in spring 2013.


"We Sink Ships", 2012 ~ We Sink Ships will take you on a ride. Cutleri’s debut album veers into sea shanties, chamber music, luminous harmonies, down-home rawness, abstract collages, and raucous rhythms.

We Sink Ships was recorded and produced at Barefoot Flamingo Recording alongside the beautiful Delaware River in Barryville, NY.


Mario Salvati ~ Engineer and Producer
Nicole Penix ~ Co-engineer

Cutleri: Jessie Shaffer (Fork), Heidi Harris (Knife), and Christen Napier (Spoon)

added instrumentation and vocals by, Mike Milazzo (Ladle) and Matt Boyle (Wine Key)

artwork by, Matt Boyle

"Let Me Show You My Sweater", 2011 ~ A collection of live performances and early recordings.

Lots of streaming music and mp3's on websites below...

Set List

Not only are all three ladies of Cutleri instrumentalists and vocalists, they are all song-writers. Cutleri's repertoire is quite eclectic, and mostly original music. There is something at a Cutleri show for everyone...