Bobb Fantauzzo

As a child growing up in Rochester, NY, Bobb Fantauzzo appeared to have limited musical ability: he was kicked out of band in elementary school for "keeping time by tapping with both feet" and his piano teacher quit following a recital in which "it sounded like Bobb was playing the music upside down".

Although he felt a need to create music for several years, Bobb didn't find the "right" instrument to do so until almost 40 years later when he was seduced by the sound of the Native American style flute in 1998. Learning to play by emulating what he heard on recordings, Bobb soon realized that while he appreciated the "canyon" sound often heard on the flute, it was not the music he felt. It was not the music he wanted to express. It was not his voice.

Encouraged by R. Carlos Nakai during a workshop in 1999, Bobb started to explore his potential on the flute and began his journey of developing his personal voice: blending the soul of the Native American style flute with the spirit of jazz - attempting to bring the flute out of the canyon and into the club.

Bobb began performing in public after moving to Minneapolis, MN from State College, PA in 2001 and released his first CD (Sirocco - Winds of Passion) in late 2003. In 2005 he was showcased by the New Folk Collective as one of four New Artists and was selected as one of the Rising Stars to be showcased at the Zion Canyon Flute Festival in 2007.

In addition to performing as a soloist and with his groups (JazZen and The 3B Three), Bobb has been a member of SemiConductor Orchestra (a "conducted" improvisational orchestra), Rhizosphere (a "free" improvisation ensemble), The Intangibles (a folk-rock band) and Sonoglyph (improvisation with poets).

He still taps both feet when he plays.

Composed and performed music for stage productions:

  • George Bonga - Black Voyager; History Theater; St Paul, MN (2016)
  • Zorro in the Land of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker (Moningwunakauning); Zorongo Flamenco (2012)
  • Sirocco (Eclectic Edge Ensemble dance production based on Sirocco - Winds of Passion); Ritz Theater, Minneapolis, MN (2007)
  • The Falls; Guthrie Theater; Minneapolis, MN (2006)
  • An Almost Holy Picture; Pillsbury House Theatre; Minneapolis,MN (2005)
Performed at major events, including:
  • World Flute Society (2018)
  • Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (2017)
  • International Native American Flute Association (2014, 2012)
  • Twin Cities Jazz Festival (2011, 2013)
  • Minnesota Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Concerts -- sponsored by KBEM Jazz88:
    • A Weaving of Traditions (2017, 2016 and 2013)
    • Music Without Borders (2018)  

2018, Bobb Fantauzzo