Guitarist Neil Zaza comes to the Kent Stage

Sarah Husbands

With the release of his highly awaited “212” album, Neil Zaza’s talents will give the audience a night they won’t forget this Friday.

Inside this instrumental rock disk is a very listenable and melodic album. “212” merges Zaza’s talents and guitar power, forcing him to raise the bar not only for himself but other musicians as well.

Zaza got the idea for “212,” which was released Feb. 12, 2011, from inspirations that surrounded him. The number 212 began to show up in all of the places Neil had traveled to, performed at and even lived in. His highly advanced musicianship is fairly obvious as his hooks, melodies and incredible speed leave you speechless and wanting more.

“This is an entirely instrumental disk,” Zaza said. “You very well don’t have to be a guitar player or instrumentalist of any kind to love this album. It’s a modern rock record with the guitar taking the place of the lead singer.”

Listeners can’t help but wonder where the vocals are in each of Zaza’s albums. Neil chooses to have the lead guitarist take the place of the lead singer; the form of expression and emotion that Zaza grabs hold of is just as entertaining as any lead singer.

“When playing with singers, it was always a little stifling,” Zaza said. “And I don’t feel that in my songs because it’s not just a rock solo. I view each song as having a true verse, chorus with the singing being done by the guitar.”

Zaza began his career of instrumental expertise at The University of Akron, where he studied classical guitar under educator Stephen Aron. After he decided to leave school, he began to teach lessons on the guitar. He has also showcased his talents in worldwide concerts, clinics, festivals and tours of the country.

Zaza has traveled across the world to places such as China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland and Italy. He has also partnered up with Steve Vai, Dweezil Zappa, Steve & Mike Porcaro, Vinnie Moore and Andy Summers. With more than 20 years of experience on his back, Zaza’s true passion comes out in each and every show through the giant smile reaching from his face to the fingers that strum his electric Cort guitar.

“Anyone can get into music,” Zaza said. “You just have to get into it for the right reasons. I love it and play because I love it. Even when there are hardships, I continue to play and perform. Music isn’t something I decided to choose, for it chose me.”

Through incredibly brilliant combinations of song writing and brilliant musical talent, Zaza’s ability alone will leave you with nonstop excitement. With his mixed sense of classical expertise and rock knowledge, this musician leaves a jaw-dropping experience.

Contact Sarah Husbands at [email protected].