Project Created: “Still Be Young”
A collection of music examining and exploring the notion that there are common spiritual and aesthetic principles and artistic devices and techniques that are utilized in parallel ways in music, dance, literature, and the visual arts.
Bio: Born in Brooklyn, NY, Bobby began playing music at an early age, soon favoring the alto saxophone. After studying at the University of Wisconsin, he attended Berklee College of Music, then went on to attain a BA degree from Empire State College (State University of New York). In the early 70s, he attracted favorable attention during a spell Cecile Taylor’s Unit Core Ensemble. Concurrently, Zankel’s reputation spread within the adventurous New York loft scene owing to performances with Ray Anderson, Sunny Murray, William Parker and others. In 1975, Zankel became a resident in Philadelphia where he raised his family while becoming a respected and in-demand sideman with many artists, notable those associated with the city’s thriving jazz scene. Groups he was with in these years, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, includes the Hank Mobley –Sonny Gillete Quintet, Jymmie Merritt’s Forerunners, Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir, and Ruth Naomi Floyd. As a performer, Zankel delivers intricate virtuoso bop playing with an intensely emotional core. Zankel’s abilities have been recognized in a variety of ways, including receiving A Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Jazz Composition Fellowship, and the Herman Goldman Award, the latter for his composition ‘Cyile.’ In 1995 he was awarded the prestigious Pew Fellowship for his writing. Grants he received through the late 80s allowed him to compose and present three jazz ballets and a jazz opera. His compositions have been performed by Lester Bowie, Coles, Marilyn Crispell, Pope, Jamaaladeen Tacuma,Peterson and others. Active in music education, Zankeol has been artist-in-residence at the Downington and Jarrettown schools, and has also been artist-in-residence for programs within the Philadelphia prison system. He presently performs with his Warriors of the Wonderful Sound.
Project Description: “This residency is a perfect opportunity to cultivate and develop the artistic collaboration between choreographer/dancer/conceptualist Raphael Xavier and me, composter/saxophonist/conceptualist Bobby Zankel. We have agreed to construct our piece around the theme of “ the celebration of maturing dance and music” that is the “joys of an aging artist.” Thematically, in a nonlinear style, using music, movement, and text we will celebrate the insight, wisdom, spiritual power that comes with maturity rather than lamenting the loss of youth.” – Bobby Zankel, 2014
“Numerology” – Composed by Bobby Zankel
“Still Be Young” - Composed by Bobby Zankel, Words by Raphael Xavier
“The Next Time I See You” – Composed by Bobby Zankel
“Do We Fit” – Music and Lyrics by Francois Zayas
“Makuting” – Composed by Francois Zayas
“Off The Hook” – Composed by Bobby Zankel
“Never” – Music and Lyrics by Francois Zayas
Bobby Zankel – Composer & Saxophone
Francois Zayas – Composer & Drum Set
Juan Rafael Castellanos – Percussion
Anthony Tidd – Bass
John Swana – Trombone & EVI
Tom Lawton – Piano
Venissa Santi – Vocals
Raphael Xavier - Choreographer & Dancer
Performance Dates: Bobby was in residency from November 1, 2013 – June 21, 2014. His student workshop was held on March 6, his public workshop on April 9, his work-in-progress on May 9, and his world premiere was held on June 21, 2014.