Tue, Feb 14|
Pontiac's Little Art Theatre (The PLAT)
Alexander Zonjic & Friends
Valentine's Day Concert ALEXANDER ZONJIC & FRIENDS Featuring James Lloyd from Pieces of A Dream, Vocalist Penny Wells, Kris Kurzawa-Guitar, Mike Harrington-Bass & Jeff Canady-Drums Concert includes roses for the ladies and chocolates.
Time & Location
Feb 14, 2023, 7:00 PM
Pontiac's Little Art Theatre (The PLAT), 47 N Saginaw St, Pontiac, MI 48342, USA
About the event
Alexander Zonjic & Friends
About Alexander Zonjic:
Alexander Zonjic started his musical journey at age nine in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, when he was introduced to his musical love, the guitar. By age 15, his professional journey began as the lead guitar player in a rhythm and blues band. It was at age 21 when Zonjic was ready to discover the beauty, power, and intelligence of music. That same year, destiny, a deity, or simple serendipity intervened in the form of a stranger on a street comer. Back in Windsor for a well-deserved breather, Zonjic was approached by a shady character that recognized him as a musician from his numerous local appearances. Would this would-be rock star be interested in buying a flute? The asking price for the doubtlessly hot instrument was $50. "I liked how it looked in the case," recalls Zonjic, who on a whim offered nine dollars.
The deal was done, Zonjic discovered the sound of his destiny, and history was made.
What he describes as "zero aptitude, but an immediate passion," Zonjic set out to master the mysterious apparatus. He at once recognized the beautiful spectrum and limitless possibilities of the flute. Within a year Zonjic realized the basics of the instrument. He auditioned successfully at the University of Windsor where he began his formal training and became immersed in the works of Bach, Mozart, and other masters.
University instructors soon recognized Zonjic as a gifted student and recruited the second flutist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as a teacher for their promising scholar. Upon graduation, Zonjic continued his studies under the tutelage of Ervin Monroe, principal flutist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. During these years, Zonjic attended school during the day, worked as a rock guitarist by night, and even found time to teach others how to play the flute. Zonjic also continued to listen to and learn from the modern masters of jazz flute, Hubert Laws and Herbie Mann.
With a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree in hand, Zonjic embarked on his life's voyage where soon another fateful meeting would change his future. It was while performing in Detroitt's celebrated jazz club, Baker's Keyboard Lounge, that Zonjic experienced a chance encounter that would catapult him to even more renown. Zonjic was approached by keyboard legend, Bob James, who that night had come to hear for himself the work of the young virtuoso. James was so impressed that he asked Zonjic to join his band - a collaboration and relationship that blossomed and led to international touring and recording. This also led to recording with such jazz greats as Earl Klugh, Kirk Whalum, Harvey Mason, and Angela Bofill, to name just a few.
Two centuries ago Mozart created The Magic Flute, a beautiful opera in which the instrument transforms its possessors into supernatural beings. Alexander Zonjic continues the tradition of the transforming power of music. Through the magnificent sound of his flute and the strength of his unique character, he takes today's audiences to special places of true enchantment-magnificent musical worlds made of vibration, space, color, meaning, and above all, passion. Enjoy his magic.
About Penny Wells:
Elegant, seductive, and smooth are as synonymous with the sounds of Penny Wells as they are to the woman who sings them. Penny’s background is in Jazz, Classical, R&B as well as Gospel, all of which have formed Penny’s sultry sophisticated sound.
A native of Detroit, it wasn’t long before Penny gained exposure, her exciting stage performances as well as her dynamic singing, brought comparisons to other native Detroiters such as Anita Baker and Gladys Knight. Penny has had the distinct honor of being named Outstanding Gospel/Christian Vocalist by The Detroit Music Awards as well as Outstanding Jazz Vocalist by The Detroit Black Music Awards.
Penny has released three CDs: Shine, Penny Wells Close To You-Penny Sings Burt, and My Favorite Holiday (Christmas CD). Detroit Metro Times’ writer, Charles L. Latimer, called “SHINE, the album of the year”. Penny has been featured on many artists’ projects over the years. She is an undeniable force in the music industry and a Chanteuse who places her own unique stamp on some of your favorite genres. Performance and Recording Highlights include Kem, The Temptations, Patti Austin, Dwele, Frank McComb, Euge Groove, Kirk Whalum, Lathun, Oleta Adams, Al McKenzie, Randy Scott, Thornetta Davis, L’Renee, Marcus Belgrave, Yancy, Maysa Leak, Ron Otis, Jeff Canady, Kimmie Horne, Alexander Zonjic, Marion Meadows,
Me’Shell Ndege-Ocello, and Straight Ahead.
Penny is currently recording new projects with Emmy Award-winning producer and smooth jazz pianist LaShawn Gary and her latest single “I Wanna Be More (You Are)”, is scheduled for a Fall of 2022 release produced by Independent R & B Sensation, Frank McComb.
About James Lloyd:
Keyboardist James Lloyd, along with friends, bassist Cedric Napoleon, and drummer Curtis Harmon, founded Pieces of a Dream in 1975 in Philadelphia when they were all teenagers. The group based their name on “Pieces of Dreams,” a cover tune by Stanley Turrentine that they performed. The trio became internationally known when jazz legend, the late Grover Washington Jr., announced that he was starting a production company and that Pieces of a Dream would be his first act. Lloyd was only a senior in high school when his first album was released. Grover subsequently took Pieces all over the world allowing the trio to open for him as well as including them as part of his band. Just before their third world tour together, however, Lloyd broke his wrist. Recollection of Lloyd playing in a cast is a priceless memory many have seen and continue to share stories about to this day. Lloyd played with his wrist in a cast for three months.
Fast-forward 38 years and 20 albums later under his belt with Pieces, Lloyd has written and/or produced songs for many other recording artists aside from Pieces. Those artists include Latin Grammy award-winning flutist Nestor Torres, Walter Beasley, Alexander Zonjic, Eric Darius, Nick Colionne, Jeff Kashiwa, Everett Harp, Gail Jhonson, Hiroshima, former-NBA-player-turned-bassist the late Wayman Tisdale and two-time Grammy nominee Najee, just to name a few. You can also catch Lloyd on recordings with Grover Washington Jr., Eddie Murphy, Phyllis Hyman, Regina Bell, Loose Ends, and Ornette Coleman.
James has played keys for many artists including Joe Williams, James Brown, Lou Rawls, Dave Valentin, Najee, Marion Meadows, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, David Sanborn, B.B. Wynans, and Babyface, and opened for artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, Nancy Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Miles Davis, Mercer Ellington, and Count Basie. Arising out of a venture with Heads Up recording artist Walter Beasley, came James Lloyd’s first No. 1 hit, Ready for Love. Ready for Love climbed to the No. 1 position on three different smooth jazz charts. A second No. 1 hit, Steady as She Goes, was also a Lloyd/Beasley project which spent weeks at No. 1 on Billboard. Billboard named Steady as the No. 1 Smooth Jazz song for 2009. Lloyd’s television and film credits include The Merv Griffin Show, Soul Train, City Lights, New York Undercover (where he performed with Al Green, Luther Vandross, and Jon B.), The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and Spike Lee’s School Daze. Other highlights of Lloyd’s career include Album of the Year for Love’s Silhouette at the 2003 AFIM Indie Awards and International Group of the Year at the 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.
Lloyd moved to Youngstown, Ohio in 1999 and characterizes Youngstown as one of the best-kept little secrets. Lloyd’s second career could be that of a chef should his music career fall through. In his spare time, Lloyd studies Tae Kwon Do at Master Park Martial Arts International and most recently started taking Valerie Gordon’s Zumba class. He received his black belt on September 6, 2007, and is currently pursuing his second-degree belt.
Today, Lloyd is producing and/or writing for well-known and up-and-coming artists alike from his home studio in Canfield. Those projects include Nick Colionne’s new album, saxophonist B.K. Jackson, as well as another piece of a Dream project. On March 17th, 2015, Lloyd released his very first solo CD titled, “Here We Go“, on Shanachie Records. This project includes guest appearances by long-time friends Najee, and Gerald Albright.