Poetry Weekend - Al Young and Dan Robbins
Author of more than 22 books of poetry, fiction and essays, Al Young's many honors include Stegner, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and NEA Fellowships. Active on writing and music scenes since his Detroit teens, he has sung and played folk and blues guitar with rock legend Felix Pappalardi, performed with Frank Zappa saxophonist Ian Underwood, the avant-garde singer Jeanne Lee and pianist Ran Blake, Tuck & Patti, drummer Omar Clay, Italian trumpet star Paolo Fresu in Milano, French singing idol Joe Dassin, pianist Kenny Cox, bassist Marian Hayden, and with David Murray at Yoshi's. A two-time Grammy nominee for album liner notes, his credits include George Benson's Breezin' album, and all of Verve's Jazz for Lovers series. As California poet laureate (2005-2008), Young tours the Golden State with gifted, soulful bassist-guitarist Dan Robbins; their collaboration and friendship deepens. AlYoung.org Dan Robbins has played and recorded in settings ranging from solo, duo, trio, etc. to big band and orchestra, and is known for driving, creative, harmonically and melodically rich background and lead parts on bass. He doubles on both acoustic bass, and four, five, six, and seven-string electric bass, in styles ranging from solo jazz chord-melody arrangements, to hard-swinging jazz double bass accompaniment, acoustic and electric funk, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Carribean, rock, R&B, blues, tango, Indian, and fusion styles, as well as arco (played with the bow) classical and comtemporary interpretations of composed music. He is also known to employ looping and effects to create the impression of a "one man band". He brings a fiery improvisational spirit and energy to all the projects he is involved with. Currently co-leading the funk trio Wasabi, he also has an ongoing duo project with distinguished California Poet Laureate Al Young, and plays bass for the Hristo Vitchev Quartet, Idiot Fish 3, Joe DeRose & Amici, Primary Colors, Vandivier, and also does solo concerts. He also teaches privately, and for the Monterey Jazz Festival and San Jose Jazz Society. His career has taken him to Europe and Asia, and he also freelances in studios and venues in the Bay Area and beyond.