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Second Concert in Winter Jazz Series Heats Up at Chapman Cultural Center

February 03, 2015 | Press Releases

SPARTANBURG, SC - Chapman Cultural Center hosts its second of three concerts in the ongoing Winter Jazz series on Friday, Feb. 6, featuring Daniel Zongrone, or “Daniel Z.” He will be joined by composer/pianist Bill Gerhardt, vocalist Donna Kay, and bassist Robert Nance at 7 p.m. in Chapman Cultural Center’s theater. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for students with valid ID. Veterans may attend free and all proceeds support arts education.
“The Winter Jazz Series is an opportunity to listen to live jazz music in a concert setting,” Daniel Z said. “Listening to live music can relax and inspire at the same time.”

His philosophy on music can be summed up by a simple acronym: “Music Unlocks Self-expression, Intelligence, and Creativity.” 

A native New Yorker, Zongrone is a Chapman favorite and an Upstate musical phenomenon performing regularly at Chapman Cultural Center and many other venues. Daniel Z is known to bring the unique sound of his vibraphone, a xylophone-like percussion instrument often called the "vibes" or "vibraharp," along with a plethora of instruments and voices in his concerts. He has performed throughout the United States, as well as in parts of Europe. Daniel Z recently returned from Berlin after receiving a Project Assistance Grant from The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg (Chapman Cultural Center).

At times, Daniel Z is joined by other musicians, creating a trio or quartet of great regional talent. The group may at any time include bass, guitar, voice, piano, flute, or trumpet. For his Winter Jazz Series appearance, Gerhardt, Kay, and Nance will make up the Daniel Z Trio. As jazz music is about fluidity and improvisation, the group may switch up the arrangement, or the genre, varying anywhere from modern jazz to bossa nova to swinging jazz. Zongrone's improvisational style keeps every concert he performs fresh and entertaining.

Gerhardt has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa and recorded with various projects as both leader and sideman. He is a member of a the nine-piece group The Staring Into the Sun Orchestra and a trio featuring Michel Gentile on flute and Masa Kamaguchi on bass, as well as in addition to leading his own quartet. Gerhardt is now head of the advisory board and a founding member of the Jazz Composer’s Forum in Asheville, NC, a non-profit organization dedicated to performing and documenting new and original music. He teaches privately and in masterclasses. He has traveled the world playing jazz music with many of the top musicians in his field. Gerhardt balances challenging harmonic and rhythmic aspects with natural melodic ideas. His ability to weave story lines with pianistic improvisations allows listeners to be drawn into the atmosphere regardless of the complexity.

Kay began her music studies when she was eight years old. She is the creative vocalist for the experimental duet Vibe Vox and co-directs the gypsy jazz and swing band The Carousers. Before relocating to Greenville, Kay lived in Atlanta, Austin, and Naples. In Atlanta, she wrote for various music magazines before joining the progressive grunge rock band King-Kill/33 Degrees (1990-1993) on bass guitar. While in Naples, FL (2004-2008), she played keyboard and sang with Tim McGeary and Wonderful Johnson. In addition to singing and playing keyboards, she also plays bass and melodica for rock, electronic, and pop groups. Kay began her pursuit of jazz when she moved to Greenville in 2008, and performs regularly with Daniel Z. Kay combines her talents in the true spirit of collaboration with fellow musicians to create an exciting and entertaining show for any opportunity.

Nance has played both upright and electric bass professionally for more than 35 years. He has toured much of the United States as well as parts of Canada and Europe. For a number of years, he sailed the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera as a bassist and orchestra leader for a major cruise line. Nance has covered styles ranging from big band jazz to rock and fusion, classical to Broadway show music, contemporary Christian to old time mountain music, as well as everything in between. He has appeared with such artists as pioneer Christian blues/rock singer Darrell Mansfield, jazz pianist Frank Kimbrough, and blues legend B.B. King. Robert teaches private lessons for the fretless electric bass and is involved in several projects including a piano/bass jazz duo, the society/special occasion jazz quintet Adagio 345, the exciting Robert Nance Trio, the eclectic world music quartet Trade Routes, and jazz/rock ensemble Ralabubamshu.

“Last year, the concert series was very well attended and we have seen an increase in support this year,” Daniel Z said. “I encourage everyone to attend a live music performance and experience the creativity.”

Tickets are available online or by calling the Ticket Office. For more information, call Chapman Cultural Center at (864) 542-ARTS or visit online at

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