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Laurie Z.®

About Laurie Z.®: Laurie Z. received 15 Grammy nomination considerations for her recordings which blend classical, modern jazz and contemporary instrumental styles. Although classically trained, her love for popular music profoundly influenced her stylistic development.

As much as she was known for her music, Laurie Z. is also remembered as a successful Independent who selflessly shared her knowledge and experience with others in her seminars. (Laurie was featured in an article about successful Independents in Keyboard Magazine.)

Besides solo performances throughout the U.S., Laurie opened for artists Herbie Hancock and Tim Weisberg, performed on stage in Tomorrowland at Disneyland for six years, and was the organist for the Mighty Ducks hockey team inaugural season.

While demonstrating products for Alesis and Yamaha at NAMM and across the U.S., Laurie Z. was also known as the "Peterbilt Girl" for more than a decade, performing at shows for Peterbilt Motors Company, Inc.

Laurie Z. released five recordings. Laurie''s in-concert performances often included audience participation where she would ask for a subject idea and musical key from the audience from which she would improvise a piece of music. "Roots - The Solo Piano Album," for which Laurie received 8 Grammy nomination considerations, was recorded live, without edits or overdubs. Half of the songs on the "Roots" album were improvised during the live recording sessions.

Laurie was one of the first female musicians to familiarize herself with MIDI. Before embarking on a solo career and forming her own band, Laurie performed in jazz and rock bands. She also recorded for Malcolm Cecil - inventor of the unique TONTO synthesizer - who had a company, EMPH Inc., "Electronic Music Publishing House." EMPH, Inc. released the very first MIDI recording and playback software (MIDIPLAY) for the now obsolete Atari 1040 computer. Laurie was involved in recording MIDI versions of songs for that program which were sold as "Musidiscs.". Laurie was one of several musicians employed, including the late Nicky Hopkins. Only three Musidiscs were ever released - Beatles songs, Christmas music and some Grammy winning songs from 1986, and Laurie Z. recorded on all of them.

Laurie passed away in February, 2006. Laurie was 1/3 of the way through a new album when she passed away. While continuing Laurie's legacy, Zebra Productions is working with WorldSound Productions on assembling these last songs for release. We are also at work collecting the improvisations Laurie created in concert, which she had always intended to release as a compilation. Laurie's label, Zebra Productions, continues to promote her musical legacy with the help of musicians like guitar virtuoso Steve Gibb, pianist Michael Dulin, Doug Sparling, and others, who have joined in helping. Some perform Laurie''s music in concert, some have plans to record her music, and others dedicate songs on their albums. Keyboard Corner''s recent Compilation #12 has a number of songs dedicated to Laurie's memory.


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