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April 2015

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Venue:
Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz738 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $15 General Admission
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 8:00pm

Warriors of the Wonderful Sound + Rudresh Mahanthappa

Jazz Appreciation Month

Bobby Zankel, alto saxophone
Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone
Julian Pressley, alto saxophone
Diane Monroe, violin
Josh Lawrence, trumpet
Stan Slotter, trumpet
John Swana, trombone
Larry Toft, trombone
Tom Lawton, piano
Lee Smith, bass
Craig McIver, drums

Ars Nova Workshop, the Philadelphia Clef Club, and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound are proud to present Bobby Zankel and the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound with special guest Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Guggenheim fellow, Doris Duke Performing Artist Awardee, and 2013 Downbeat International Critics Poll Alto Saxophonist of the Year, Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative composers and performers in jazz today, fusing the musical culture of his Indian ancestry and jazz with myriad other influences to create a groundbreaking artistic vision. His 2013 release, Gamak (ACT) is teeming with “passion for experimental immersion… totally at ease, not only crossing eastern and western musical genres, but boldy blazing into further unexplored territories” (Huffington Post). He has recorded with musicians like Bunky Green, Jack De Johnette, Jason Moran, Vijay Iyer, and Steve Lehman.

Originally from Brooklyn, Zankel was drawn to the saxophone by the thrilling new sounds being explored in the 1960s jazz scene, in particular the music of John Coltrane. He eventually studied with Cecil Taylor at the University of Wisconsin, after which he left school to continue those studies on the bandstand, following the iconoclastic pianist back to New York. Zankel became involved with the avant-garde jazz scene of the early 1970s, performing alongside the likes of bassist William Parker and violinist Billy Bang. In 1975, Zankel relocated to Philadelphia, where he’s remained since, becoming one of the leading lights of the local jazz community. “I’ve had such tremendous experiences and opportunities in Philadelphia,” Zankel says, citing his work with saxophonist Odean Pope, bassist Jymie Merritt, violinist John Blake, and singer Ruth Naomi Floyd, among others who make the city their home. But his most influential work has been his over ten years of composing for his long-standing big band.

The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound were first assembled in 2001 for a fledgling jazz festival and continued presenting Zankel’s heady, intricate compositions over the next decade at recently-shuttered club Tritone. For most of the big band’s existence, it was Zankel’s compositions alone that made up the Warriors’ repertoire. In 2009, however, the band performed the music of Julius Hemphill, leading Zankel to open up the band’s book to outside composers of a similar mindset. First Indian-American saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and then M-Base founder Steve Coleman penned challenging suites for the ensemble, and in 2012, Zankel and Warriors collaborated with Muhal Richard Abrams.