Peter Zak Trio
Photo by Javier Oddo
Pianist Peter Zak was born in Los Angeles in 1965,
and grew up in
Columbus and Kent, Ohio, then moved with his family at age 16 to
Oakland. At the University of California, Berkeley, he studied with
Susan Muscarella (founder/director of Berkeley's Jazzschool, now the
California Jazz Conservatory).
Zak played on an extracurricular basis in combo and big band settings,
with the UC Jazz Ensembles. He also freelanced in bands with noted
bassist Herbie Lewis, who had recorded with one of Zak's major
influences, McCoy Tyner, as well as Jackie McLean and local hero Bobby
Hutcherson. Following his graduation from UC Berkeley, Zak played
clubs, concerts, and festivals with such notables as saxophonists Frank
Morgan and John Handy.
Since moving to New York in 1989, Zak has enjoyed ongoing recording and
performing associations with saxophonists Walt Weiskopf, Jim Snidero,
and Stephen Riley; trumpeter Ryan Kisor; and guitarist Tom Guarna. Zak
has accompanied such name artists as George Coleman, Billy Hart, Jon
Hendricks, Etta Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Scott Hamilton, Doug Webb,
and Junior Cook. He has been on the faculty in the Jazz and
Contemporary Music College of the New School since 1995.
For his tenth CD in as many years, all for the Danish SteepleChase
label, pianist Peter Zak continues his brilliant series of jazz trio
explorations, this time in the company of bassist Peter Washington and
drummer Willie Jones III. The new disc, "The Disciple," was released
October 21, 2014.
Bassist Michael Zisman holds a Bachelor of Music
degree from New Jersey's William Paterson College, where he studied
with Rufus Reid, Todd Coolman, Harold Mabern, Joe Lovano, and Norman
After moving to New York City in 1985, Michael began performing with
jazz legends such as Cecil Payne, Junior Cook, George Coleman, Phil
Woods, Jimmy Cobb, David "Fathead" Newman, Clark Terry, Eddie
Henderson, Jerome Richardson, Kenny Burrell, Herb Geller, Don Friedman,
Junior Mance, Mundell Lowe, and James Williams. Michael also performs
and records with some of the jazz stars of today including Eric
Alexander, Jim Rotondi, Joe Farnsworth, Steve Davis, David Hazeltine,
Dena DeRose, Akira Tana, and Matt Wilson.
In 2000, Michael returned to the Bay Area to serve as the Artistic
Director, Education Director and Programs Manager of the Stanford Jazz
Workshop (SJW) and Festival until 2006.
has been one of the first call drummers in the Bay Area for decades.
He has performed with numerous great jazz musicians over the years,
including Cal Tjader, Woody Herman, Vince Guaraldi, Stan Getz, Mark
Murphy, Flip Nunez, George Muribus, Kitty Margolis, Scott Hamilton,
Larry Vuckovich, Al Plank, Bruce Forman, Noel Jewkes, and Mark Levine.
He performed frequently at the late lamented Jazz at Pearl's, and has
long co-led a renowned jam session at the Dogpatch Saloon and 7 Mile
House with Andrew Speight.