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Big Wonderful Sound


This music is a big tree with many branches - Bobby Zankel

About this time last year, we were all still spinning from the impact of saxophonist, Bobby Zankel & the Warriors of the Wonderful Sound led Still The New Thing Festival This cutting edge music festival was a 1,2 3 punch affair with three sold-out shows at the Painted Bride Art Center celebrating Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra. Perhaps one of the best collaborations that PJP has participated in.


This year, Zankel returns with four concerts of big band music centered around his 13 piece ensemble, The Warriors of the Wonderful sound, augmented by special musical guests like Dave Burrell, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jaleel Shaw and Don Byron.


The series of concerts runs from March thru June and alternate locations between the Painted Bride Art Center and the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts. Also participating in this multi-organizational collaboration is Ars Nova Workshop who was also part of last year’s events.


PJP caught up with Bobby Zankel to ask him about the series and the work of Warriors of the Wonderful Sound.

shawPJP: What was the inspiration for creating this series?


Zankel: The world's greatest music has been created by working bands that played together consistently, so i have been struggling in different ways to create an opportunity for  this type of  development. The "Still the New Thing Festival" proved that there is a large audience for progressive music and the  Painted Bride and Clef Club were very excited by the idea of presenting great music on Tuesday night.


PJP: Why is big band Jazz music important to preserve and support?


Zankel: As a very young musician I spent my formative years working in the large ensemble of Cecil Taylor, who both gave us new compositions to work on continuously utilizing the most modern concepts but also shared a deep reverence for the tradition we were part of (Lunceford, Ellington, Basie, Hampton, Gillespie, Sun Ra....). Both from the human (social) and musical perspectives it is incomparable joy to be part of , or listen to a large group of like-minded but unique individuals working towards the same goal.



PJP: Why did you choose the special guest/soloists that are on this series?


Zankel: I am always interested in working with serious musicians who love great ideas and are unlimited in their approach and ability to perform in any musical environment. Don Byron, Jaleel Shaw, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Dave Burrell have all been excited and willing to try whatever music challenge that my compositions and the Warriors presented,


PJP: What does the audience have in store for them?


Zankel: The audience can be confident that they will be embraced with the "sound of surprise", brilliant playing, and an avalanche of feeling! The different guests guarantee 4 very different events and they will frankly be amazed by how well Warriors play together and their mastery and unique qualities as soloists.



Special Guest: award-winning reedist Don Byron
Painted Bride Art Center

230 Vine Street, Phila., PA 19106

Special Guest Jaleel Shaw
Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts

738 South Broad Street, Phila., PA 19146


For more information or tickets visit:

Ars Nova Workshop


Painted Bride Art Center



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Tags : DaveBurrell RudreshMahanthappa JaleelShaw DonByron BobbyZankel WarriorsoftheWonderfulSound StillTheNewThingFestival ClefClub PaintedBride BigBand


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