Archive for November 13, 2011

Long-time Charlotte jazz fans may remember Alexander Zonjic from his performances with pianist Bob James at Jonathan’s Jazz Cellar back in the late 80s. He returns to the Queen City on Friday, November 18 with another famed keyboardist, Jeff Lorber. The 8 p.m. performance takes place at Pease Auditorium on the campus of Central Piedmont Community College, 1206 Elizabeth Avenue.

Zonjic originally began his musical career as an R&B guitarist. At age 21 he bought a flute from a stranger for nine dollars and found an immediate passion for playing it. During the years of his classical music education, he shared time playing flute with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and as a rock guitarist. Then Zonjic met James, leading to a decade of touring and two recordings. Zonjic’s Warner Brothers debut, Neon (1990) produced by Kirk Whalum, featured James and Earl Klugh (who performed in Charlotte in September).

Zonjic’s 2001 album, Reach for the Sky, began his collaboration with Lorber, who wrote the title track. The two artists reunited on Zonjic’s Doin’ the D, named Canadian Smooth Jazz Album of the Year in 2010. Smooth Jazz Vibes reviewed the album commending the collaborations, saying “all of these contributions are well-served by Zonjic’s lilting, soothing and oft even funky flute offerings. With such a delightful blend of tastes and feels, this project is truly one for the senses.”

Lorber became a prominent figure in the new movement known as jazz fusion in the 1970s by blending traditional jazz with elements of rock, R&B, funk and other electrified sounds. Local jazz fans may remember his popular performance at the Uptown Charlotte Jazz Fest in June.

Lorber’s 2010 release Now Is the Time was nominated for a GRAMMY® and widely praised. The Smooth Jazz Ride said, “Jeff Lorber, as Jeff Lorber Fusion reincarnated on this one, has knocked this production out of the park with a very clever approach to recapturing the essence of contemporary jazz.” Lorber’s next recording, Galaxy, is set for release in Germany on November 4th, 2011 and in the U.S. on January 31, 2012.

For tickets to Alexander Zonjic with Jeff Lorber, visit or call the Pease Auditorium box office at 704-330-6534.