New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Grammy award-winning artist Zachary James
unveils his first full-length classical vocal album, "Song of Myself." The new classical vocal song cycle, composed by James
in his classical composition debut with additional music by cellist Wick Simmons, percussionist Ariel Campos, and guitarist Frederick Poholek, brings to life the timeless words of renowned poet Walt Whitman.
Born from the words of Whitman's iconic work, "Song of Myself," Zachary James
embarked on a soul-stirring exploration of the human experience and the interconnectedness of all beings. The new song cycle is scored for bass-baritone, cello, guitar, percussion and untuned piano. The 12 track, 64 minute album is intended to be listened to as a full performance.
The album cover features the photography of renowned Mexican fashion photographer Alex Salinas, whose work has appeared in Vogue, Marie Claire, Playboy and more publications worldwide. Salinas is known for his ability to capture the raw beauty and emotion of his subjects and shot James
in Mexico City in July.
"Song of Myself" is available now worldwide on all streaming platforms. James
expressed his excitement about the upcoming release, saying, "Creating "Song of Myself" has been a deeply personal and transformative experience artistically, emotionally and spiritually. I recorded all the vocals in one day, in an almost Herculean effort, in a completely dark orchestral recording studio at the Colorado Symphony and it was an experience I will never forget. I am thrilled to share this album with the world. It was a distinct honor to collaborate with Ariel, Wick and my father. Our collaboration was pure and openhearted and we hope to stir the souls of our listeners and give contemporary art song a nudge in a new direction. While there are countless musical settings of Whitmans's words I wanted to create a song cycle that specifically focused on the human experience of feeling alone in oneself and finding love for oneself through self-acceptance and celebration. There are also overarching themes of what it is to be queer. Whitman's own experience as a gay man in a time when it was not socially acceptable is revelatory to explore when we are still in a battle for equal rights and inclusion in society over a hundred years later. Earlier this week I proposed to my boyfriend, now fiancé. There was a beautiful write-up in his hometown paper covering our engagement. It felt wonderful to receive such attention publicly as a gay couple in a small town Texas
newspaper yet the comments of many readers reminded me that to be in a same sex relationship still can invite ridicule and hate. It drew a parallel to the simultaneous celebration and censorship of Whitman and reminded me why I wanted to create this work."
Listen to the new album here:
Zachary James, international opera singer and recording artist, Broadway & TV actor, 2022 Grammy Award Winner, named the BroadwayWorld Vocalist of the Decade, Classical Post's Most Innovative Artist, Verismo Magazine's Breakout Artist of the Year and among Opera Wire's 30 Most Influential LGBTQ+ Artists is "a true stage animal" (Opera News) known for his "huge, robust bass" which "resonates with force" (Bach Track), "tremendous power and presence" (The Arts Desk, London) and "intrinsically beautiful", "cavernous bass" with "oomph and range" (Opera News).
He created the role of Lurch on The Addams Family musical on Broadway, the role of Abraham Lincoln in the world premiere of Philip Glass's opera The Perfect American at the Teatro Real in Madrid, a role he reprised for London's English National
Opera and Australia's Opera Queensland, Oberon in the world premiere of Kristin Hevner's Il Sogno at the Teatro Citta della Pieve in Umbria, the role of Terry in the world premiere of Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia and Lucius Clarke in the world premiere of Edward Tulane at Minnesota Opera.
A winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition, Zach has been engaged by The Metropolitan Opera, London's English National
Opera, Spain's Teatro Real and Australia's Opera Queensland, LA Opera, Opera Omaha, Minnesota Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, On Site Opera, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Roanaoke, Florentine Opera, Opera Ithaca, Shreveport Opera, Anchorage Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Teatro Citta della Pieve.
As a stage actor, Zach's orchestral concert engagements include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, The New York Philharmonic, NYC Ballet, American Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains, MasterVoices NYC and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.
About Ariel Campos
Ariel Campos is a Los Angeles based percussionist. His diverse musical background includes performances with artists and groups; Kelly
Clarkson, John Legend, Percussionist Kai Strobel, Country Pop Duo "Brooks and Dunn", Latin Jazz artists Louie Cruz-Beltran and Poncho
He was an original cast member of the Tony and Emmy award winning musical "Blast!," which premiered in London. He is also currently the Director
of Southern California Marimba, (scmarimba.org) a non-profit dedicated to promoting marimba performance.
About Wick Simmons
Wick Simmons is a NYC based cellist. Dubbed "the modern cellist" (The CelloSherpa), Wick uses his classical training under the eminent pedagogue Hans Jørgen Jensen to aggressively engage in the culturally intersecting worlds of creative-technology, dance, film, theatre, kink, sound-art and post-genre music.
He made his New York solo debut at Joe's Pub at THE PUBLIC theater and has performed at The Kennedy Center, The Dolby, The Kitchen NYC, Constellation Chicago, Segerstrom Hall, The Paramount, MASS MoCA, The Greene Space, Carnegie Hall, on New Sounds, WQXR-WNYC, The Longy School of Music
at Bard College's "seen / unseen" digital series, on National
Public Radio's "From The Top" show, and throughout the USA as the cellist of the five "superb" (The San Diego
Union Tribune) onstage musicians in the 10-Tony Award winning show, The Band's Visit First Broadway National