Dweezil Zappa was born on September 5, 1969 in Los Angeles—the son of Frank and Gail Zappa. It was inevitable that from the moment of his birth his life would be filled wall-to wall with music (his father having listed his religion as "musician" on Dweezil's birth certificate). Dweezil's early years were spent largely away from the spotlight—something of a rarity for the child of a celebrity, but perfect for cultivating a close relationship with his family.
Having watched his father perform concerts from the side of the stage since he was in diapers it was no surprise that he began to show an interest in music early on. At 6 years old he received his first guitar, a Fender Music Master from his dad. It wasn't until he was 12 that he began to show a serious interest in manipulating the instrument to make music.
Having primarily heard the music his father was working on or listening to at home while growing up, Dweezil soon found himself exposed to some new sounds on the radio. Besides his father's music he began listening to the Beatles, Queen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. Like many aspiring guitarists of his generation, Dweezil 's ear was caught in a stranglehold by the trailblazing guitar styles of Edward Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. He listened to their records for hours on end trying to figure out a way to translate what he was hearing in his head to his fingers at the other end of the guitar. Along the way, he had opportunities to ask his dad for some help. "I remember asking Frank to help me figure out the song 'Revelation/Mother Earth' from Blizzard Of Oz. I really didn't know anything about chords and in that song Randy Rhoads was using classical music elements that were really new to rock guitar at the time. Frank helped me learn the finger picking intro." To gain more fundamental knowledge of technique and scales Dweezil was fortunate to have some assistance from one of the musicians in his father's band at that time, Steve Vai. Dweezil became remarkably proficient in a very short amount of time due to his intense practicing sessions.
In the spring of 2006, Dweezil's new live band 'Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa' hit the road for their first, tour. Playing a long, ambitious set of Frank Zappa favorites and obscure gems to big audiences of crazed Zappa fans, Dweezil proved that he could reach his goal to form a core band of previously unknown expert musicians capable of respectfully executing his father's music. He was uniquely qualified to bring these compositions back to life with complete authenticity from the page to the stage. Helping to deliver the goods was his absolutely stellar band of first-rate musicians including Joe Travers, Pete Griffin, Aaron Arntz, brass/woodwinds/keyboards/obvious fan favorite Scheila Gonzales, percussionist Billy Hulting and guitarist Jamie Kime.
Constantly learning and evolving his guitar art, Dweezil Zappa is both the modern face of Zappa music and the person who can bring it fully-formed into the future.
In 2012 Dweezil redefined Dweezil Zappa Plays Frank Zappa's mission as a band and sculpted it into the current 6 piece configuration he takes on tour. (Dweezil Zappa Lead Guitar Vocals, Scheila Gonzales Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards and Vocals, Kurt Morgan Bass and Vocals, Chris Norton Keyboards and Vocals, Joe Travers Drums and Vocals, Ben Thomas Lead Vocals, Trumpet and Trombone.) When his father toured with smaller ensembles he referred to them as his "Rocking Teenage Combo." Smaller in size doesn't mean smaller in sound. Not for Frank or Dweezil. Now able to tour in even more cities and venues because they can fit on stage easier, Dweezil's rocking teenage combo has been navigating through new geographic and musical territory. This fine assortment of hand picked musicians all have their own unique qualifications but it's their dedication to preserving and performing the detailed music of Frank Zappa that unites them and thrills audiences across the globe.
Tickets: $30-$55. For 21 and over.
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