Progday 2015!

Jack O' The Clock band photo
Jack O' The Clock

“the…endlessly sophisticated music heard on The Warm, Dark Circus often sounds like an auditory hallucination, with surprises around every corner…Each track brings a new sonic landscape, fully realized and vividly detailed by Waitkus’ complex, evocative lyrics and the band’s fearless sense of adventure” - Seven Days

JACK O' THE CLOCK was formed in Oakland, California in the summer of 2007 when multi-instrumentalists Damon Waitkus and Nicci Reisnour, who had been composition students at Mills College, discovered a mutual interest in alloying folk-inspired songwriting with a composerly approach to instrumentation and arrangement. Joined by Waitkus’ partner, violinist Emily Packard, and percussionist Jordan Glenn, they began performing and recording as an acoustic quartet until Reisnour’s departure in 2008.

The group then found its signature sound with the addition of Kate McLoughlin (bassoon, voice, flute) and Jason Hoopes (bass, vocals), and began incorporating elements of progressive rock, free jazz, minimalism, and various world musics into its folk foundation.

Over the next decade, JACK O' THE CLOCK performed regularly throughout the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere, independently releasing six critically-acclaimed albums as well as an EP of covers, joined by a host of guests drawn from the Bay Area’s rich community of musicians including Fred Frith (guitar), Darren Johnston (trumpet), Ivor Holloway (saxes, clarinet), Cory Wright (saxes, clarinet), Karl Evangelista (electric guitar), Thea Kelley (vocals), and Art Elliot (keyboards, vocals), among others.

In 2019, Waitkus and Packard moved with their family to Vermont, taking with them three albums’ worth of unfinished studio recordings made by the original quintet in 2018-19. The same year, the band released the live album Witness through the Geomancy label, capturing the original quintet at the height of its powers as a live outfit at the 2017 SeaProg Festival, which turned out to be that line-up’s final show.

Jack O' The Clock band photo

In May of 2021, the band signed to Cuneiform Records and released Leaving California. They self-released The Warm, Dark Circus in the fall of 2023. Both draw from the Bay Area quintet’s last recording sessions.

Meanwhile, Waitkus and Packard have reunited with McLoughlin in Vermont and teamed up with new recruits Victor Reynolds (bass, various other instruments), and Ben James (drums) to relaunch the band as a live entity, and have been actively writing and rehearsing all new material.

On The Web:

Web Site:

Music To Check Out:




ProgDay is not responsible for the content on any external links.
All art on this website © Michael Bennett (, All rights reserved.


(Vocals, Guitar,
Electric Taishogoto)

(Violin )

(Bassoon, Flute, Vocals)

(Bass, Guitar, Vocals)

(Drums, Percussion)


The Warm, Dark Circus cover

The Warm, Dark Circus

Leaving California cover

Leaving California

Witness cover

Witness (Live) (2019)

Repetitions Of The Old City II cover

Repetitions Of The
Old City II (2018)

Repetitions Of The Old City II

Repetitions Of The
Old City I (2016)

Outsider Songs cover

Outsider Songs EP

Night Loops cover

Night Loops (2014)

All My Friends cover

All My Friends (2013)

How Are We Doing... Cover

How Are We Doing
And Who Will Tell Us?

Rare Weather cover

Rare Weather (2008)


“really rich and downright head-spinningly complex, yet seductively addictive”
- Pienemmät Purot

“like a fiction anthology that picks at reality with poignancy and disturbing insight ...Musically... The Warm, Dark Circus stands out as one of their best… It is as if they have captured the characteristics of the last 75 years of Western music and reprocessed them into a new genre.”
- Avant Music News

“…beautiful acoustic instruments working together with a top-notch rhythm section to produce a wonderful kind of modern art music… I find myself enjoying listening to it so much that it gets to the end without me having written a word…”
- Exposé