Songwriter, composer, playwright, storyteller, and performer Jack Za just keeps rolling along. A professional musician since the age of 13, Jack began playing sax in a local band while he was in junior high. By graduation he was recording in Nashville and Memphis and touring across the country. He has opened for musical icons like Muddy Waters, Billy Joel, the Byrds, and the Boxtops. And he did all of this while he was still in his teens.
in mountain valley embrace
as scheduled and advertised
In 2000, Jack developed “Lights On The Grand Basin,” a musical based on his grandparent’s memories of the 1904 St. Louis World Fair. The musical love story offers an exquisite look at a time when folks from all over the country were saying “Meet Me In St. Louis.” In 2006, Jack received a commission to write a historical musical about one of the earliest river towns in Missouri. “Hills Above The Riverbank” covers 200 years of the history of St. Charles, a town that grew on the banks of the Missouri near the confluence of the Mississippi.
n 2014 Jack started working with Tom Burns of Phat Buddha Studios. They produced a radio-ready single "Falling In The Red Flame Of Love" b/w "Fools In The Cold" in 2015. In 2016/17 they began to record the songs from Jack's new musical, "In Mountain Valley Embrace" about the history of Salida, Colorado.
In 1973 Jack began taking yearly trips to L.A. in pursuit of the elusive deal from the music industry. His music always managed to generate interest, but it wasn't until 1979 when he moved out there with his partner, Lyle Lambur, that his dream begin to take shape. With Lyle and other musical collaborators, his stories and music were able to catch the attention of Disney, Hanna-Barbara, and Dreamworks to name a few. Jack is a song painter in every sense of the word, writing and performing his own unique version of many styles from pop to R&B, Broadway to folk.
Throughout the 80’s, he performed his original works either as a solo artist or partnered with Steve Cearly under the aegis of River Debris at various clubs and venues throughout the St. Louis area. In the late 90’s, Jack began recording the whimsical children’s musical “Hats For The Elephants” which was drawn from his own childhood memories of the zoo.