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Bobby Zankel’s Wonderful Sound, Upholstery & Veronica Mercedes Jurkiewicz/Carlos Santiago/Matt Engle/Eric Theise : A Benefit for Fire Museum Presents

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Fire Museum Presents at The Perch

7th October 2023 20:00

A benefit concert for Fire Museum Presents - give what you can. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Bobby Zankel 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 with Cecil 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. From 1975, Zankel became resident in Philadelphia where he raised his family meanwhile becoming a respected and in-demand sideman with many artists, notably those associated with the city’s thriving jazz scene. Groups he was with in these years, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, include the Hank Mobley -Sonny Gillete Quintet, Jymmie Merritt’s Forerunners, Odean Pope’s Saxophone Choir, and Ruth Naomi Floyd. He continued to work with Taylor, including visiting Europe. As a performer, Zankel delivers intricate virtuoso bop playing with an intensely emotional core. Zankel was also continuing with his studies, now with Dennis Sandole, becoming a skilled and significant composer. As leader and sideman he has appeared at numerous festivals. His compositions have been performed by Lester Bowie, Coles, Marilyn Crispell, Pope, Jamaaladeen Tacuma and others.

Performing with Bobby in Wonderful Sound are Nazir Ebo (drums) and Sumi Tonooka (piano).


Upholstery creates original works for stage, film, and stereos. The ensemble draws on a wide range of musical influences - from Portishead to Talking Heads, cabaret to post-punk - while striving to create music that is visceral and thought-provoking.

Veronica Mercedes Jurkiewicz/Carlos Santiago/Matt Engle/Eric Theise:

Veronica Mercedes Pazymiño Jurkiewicz is an instrumentalist, vocalist, educator, and curator based in Philadelphia. She is drawn to sound involving the intersection of experimental, improvisational, and traditional practice; has a passion for creating and realizing diverse types of artistic programs and communal art experiences; and is an active member of the avant-garde music scene in Philadelphia. A versatile musician, Veronica shape-shifts as both a violinist and violist as well as between many different genres and languages within music. As the violist of the Bismuth String Quartet, Veronica is actively curating and programming collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects as well as performing new/experimental music.

Carlos Santiago was born and raised in Philadelphia and was educated at The Hartt School of Music and Temple University. Approaching music from multiple standpoints, Carlos has relished performing in a wide variety of musical settings and styles such as the multi - disciplinary Bismuth String Quartet, the complex mathematical compositions of the rock band Normal Love, soloing with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, playing Tango, Salsa, and Afro-Caribbean jazz with Sonic Liberation Front, or Roma jazz with BeauDjango. Past teachers include John Blake, Diane Monroe, Yusef Lateef, Adolf Sandole, Louis Lanza, and Nicholas Mann. Sharing the unity of all of these types of music is the driving force behind his passion for sonic exploration.

Matt Engle:

Matt Engle grew up in the Philadelphia area and has been an active member of the creative and improvised music scene for over 20 years. He has contributed to many varying musical situations and has previously performed with Dan Blacksberg, Bobby Zankel, Sonic Liberation Front, Shot By Shot, Jarrett Gilgore, Dave Liebman, Marshall Allen, Jaimie Branch, Elliot Levin, Anthony Pirog, Raymond King, David Middleton, Muhammad Ali, Oliver Lake, Tim Berne, Thurman Barker, and Brandon Seabrook among many others.

Eric Theise:

Real time cartographic improvisations using projected, manipulated digital maps, in collaboration with local musicians or other time-based artists. Evenings of street grids, rivers, islands, and curiosities from the built environment. Saturated colors. Glitches in crowdsourced data. Orphaned information and free-floating symbology.

Raffle prizes donated by Fireball Printing, Random Tea Room, Martha, Great Circles, Philadelphia Record Exchange, Brickbat Books, Lot 49 Books, Pom Pom Philly and more tba!

accessibility: two steps from street to venue.

Created by erictheise