in the press.....
SHOWBIZ TIME MAGAZINE. 2007 April-May Issue Pages 8,9
Artists Biographies: Honoring the best in the business by Germaine Poitiers
ZOLA: La Crème de La Crème
Composer, songwriter and Jazz/Cabaret/Pop singer, Zola was born in Cape Town, South Africa on December 27, 1959. Her father Xavier Piat was a journalist, and her mother, the late great Chayela Rosenthal* was a pioneering performing artist; she was an actress, a stage leading performer, a singer, and a comedienne. In 1981, Zola earned a BA in psychology, arts, and Jewish studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Zola is a world-class artist. La crème de la crème. Her human warmth, overwhelming creativity, superb musical taste, and her out-of-this world voice secured her name as one of the most sparkling artists of all time. She is an internationally known vocalist and Billboard award winning, and a songwriter whose songs are recognized in many categories including, jazz, cabaret, blues, adult-contemporary and country. This versatile singer-pianist has recorded six solo albums of original material, that also include baby lullabies and childrens music. She has performed as lead female singer and commissioned songwriter with general business bands and as a solo artist overseas and locally, making her singer~songwriter USA debut in 1997 at Bostons Scullers Jazz Club. In 2006 Zola won critical acclaim and rave reviews for her performance at Scullers that celebrated the launch of her latest CD here with you recorded with some of Bostons finest jazz musicians. Zola, apparently began singing long before she could talk. She started composing songs at the piano at a very young age and by the time she was a teenager, she had already had a number of her songs published. Being the daughter of a world renowned Yiddish and Broadway actress, singer and comedienne, Chayela Rosenthal, Zolas introduction to the arts came about at a very young age. Her love of musical theater came naturally, as did her gifted talents as a singer and her ability to act. By age three she was already the favorite child star in the open air summer stage shows. At age nine, Zola was singing and dancing in local community variety shows with The Tripple Ripple - a singing trio she formed with her two best friends! She continued on to play every lead role in her school musicals and plays. Growing up, Zola saw every musical movie, or theatrical production that she could, after which she would race home, humming the theme songs in her head, and run to the piano where her little fingers would effortlessly bring those melodies out to play. Daughter of Holocaust survivor parents, Zola was raised in an environment well acquainted with love, need, loss and hope, all of which became the building blocks of her original compositions, sought after songs that are continually covered by other artist too. While greatly inspired by Broadway musicals, film scores and instrumentals, Zolas other musical influences included Barbara Streisand, The Carpenters, The Beatles, Sting, Bette Midler and the legendary jazz greats. In her college years, while singing with leading general business bands, Zola wrote and performed First Dance wedding songs for herself and a few close friends. She then moved on to voiceovers, commercials, contract work for hire, songs for film and privately commissioned songwriting projects that include personalized song gifts. In between her Creative Arts Broadway Kid Starz teaching program and entertaining young children, Zola continues to write, record and perform - all with equal passion and love. Press quotes: ...really a beautiful, beautiful CD -Holly Harris, WBOS 92. -Blues on Sunday. ...listening to your CD...I am floored and in love. The arrangements, your voice, your songs, your presence and intentions - all stellar.-Dane Vannatter. ...good hooks and such pretty melodies -Ralph Murphy, Assistant VP ASCAP, Nashville. ...her songs have a startling immediacy...She has those delicate ethereal high notes that quiver with emotion... Beverly Creasey, Theatre Mirror, IRNE. Website: www.zola.us Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more on page 1284 in Vol. II and 1525 in Vol. III of the World Who's Who in Jazz, Cabaret, Music and Entertainment.
CABARET SCENES - March 2007 by John Amodeo
"On her debut solo recording, Here With You, Zola brings her warm, voluptuous voice to a collection of her own songs. Born of show business Jewish parents who escaped Nazi Poland to her native South Africa, Zola was raised in an environment well acquainted with love, need loss and hope, all of which become the building blocks of her original compositions. While there is little that is provocative, profound or poetic in her lyrics,her sultry vocals bring depth, texture and subtlety o every song, suggesting fascinating backstories not otherwise inherent. Writing in straightforward language, it is her rich nuanced vocals and musical director Doug Hammer's evocative arrangements that bring color and distinction to each song, yet maintain a quality of listenable cohesion about the whole. Pin Stripe Blues, the peppiest of the bunch, with a sizzling muted trumpet behind Zola's suggestive vocals, is New Orleans jazz all the way, while This Is How It Is could be sung by a teased-hair vinyl booted, mini-skirted country singer. Others are arranged in the manner of slow jazz standards or pop ballads. But it is with Blue Rain, co-written with Jon Seiff, that Zola touches us most deeply, reflecting on the loss of a loved one. Zola sums up her life's philosophy in her closing number, My Prayer, an anthem of hope suitable for any vigil, as reassuring as a mothers hug, and as forward reaching as a child's soul." -
THEATRE MIRROR / IRNE - November, 2007 - By Beverly Creasey
Exuberant ZOLA at Scullers Jazz Club
She has those delicate, ethereal high notes which quiver with emotion, like Dolly Partons breathy coloratura. She writes her own material, as well---in almost every musical style: blues, country & western, romantic ballads, even an anthem for South Africa (where shes from). She has only one name and its Zola! Zola does it all and she has a new CD, HERE WITH YOU, produced by wunderkind Doug Hammer, whose arrangements (for his kickin band) are shimmering. We all know Hammer can ignite a piano but who knew he could make orchestral magic, too. Zola composes long, languorous songs. like the four and a half minute appropriately titled Long Long Time which has a lovely duet for Hammer and Trent Austin on trumpet and snappy, tongue in check send-ups like Cocoa Bean Blues( I get mean if Im deprived of my cocoa bean.) with Hammer jazzing it up in stride. Her slow, sexy, bluesy Worth Your While has a sassy, sultry trumpet solo for Austin which could heat up the Arctic and her In Another Lifetime will have you thinking of Olivia Newton Johns I Honestly Love You except Zolas song is sweeter. Her songs have a startling immediacy like her plaintive, come hither [I need to be with you) Right Now which features Austins silky trumpet and Steve Chaggariss whispering beat on drums. She has fun (and gets down) with her funky Pin Stripe Blues and pays tribute to both her mother and her homeland with the hypnotic Mother Africa. The standout song (which everyone should be covering) is the bittersweet Blue Rain. co-authored with Jon Seiff. They capture the wistful melancholy of an unforgettable lost love with literate rhymes and soft, echoing raindrops supplied by David Landoni on bass. Dreamy vocals, gorgeous orchestrations: Dont miss them next time Zola and Hammer come to Scullers for a party.