People / Teaching Artists

Ricky Sallay Zoker


Ricky Sallay Zoker is an artist, musician, performer, and educator from Houston, Texas. Over the years, Ricky has shared the stage with musicians like Cardi B and The Sun Ra Arkestra, creating multimedia performances that tour astrally, nationally, and globally. 

Their debut EP, ‘Spirit Said Yes!’ was released on NYC’s imprint PTP in 2016. The New Noise described the release as “a gem of electro-fi-soul-rock.” With this release, Ricky became a NYC underground mainstay. As put by Tiny Mixtapes, their songs are “balms for roving spirits…folding jazz vocals and pastoral ambience into fragile, steely structures. “

In 2019, Ricky’s second release, WAHALA, served as the foundation for ‘An Episode: Ricky’s Room,’ a self-written and performed theatrical production commissioned by NYC’s The Shed. The album was released to critical acclaim. WAHALA was featured on Bandcamp daily, named one of Fact Magazine’s 25 best Albums of 2019 and one of Pitchfork’s Best Experimental Albums of 2019.

Most recently, Ricky released ‘DIAL UP’, an album with Philly poet, musician, and frequent collaborator, Moor Mother. This year, the duo performed selections from the album at the Getty alongside Moor Mother’s free-jazz ensemble, Irreversible Entanglements. 

Ricky has performed at MOMA PS1, MOMA, The Getty, New Forms Festival, Sonic Acts Festival, and NTS x The Tate virtual festival. Their music has been highlighted in magazines like Pitchfork, Tiny Mixtapes, The Quietus, Fact Mag, Nylon, and The Wire. They are a former artist-in-residence of Pioneer Works, Elsewhere Museum, Otion Front, and Flux Factory.

As an educator, Ricky has facilitated workshops and panels at The New School, The Brooklyn Museum, NYU, and Cornell University. At the moment, they are a 2022 MFA Candidate at Bard College and a teaching artist in Los Angeles, CA.