For San Francisco-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Roy Zat, the play on words to the question of “who’s zat?” carries significant meaning. It also happens to be the title of his latest album, which, as Zat pointed out recently, is an exploration through his rich history in music.
Zat grew up listening to, and becoming influenced by the sounds of the British Invasion – Beatles, Stones, Donovan, Clapton, as well as the folk music of the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Neil Young and others. He found himself playing guitar in high school, and in college, impressed by the sound of American old time music, began taking up the fiddle.
After college, Zat took up a full-time life as a musician, playing with the likes of Asleep At The Wheel, Tanya Tucker, Kate Wolf, Nina Gerber, Queen Ida and Bill Kirchen, among others. Taking a break from music to raise a family, and establish a financial career for himself, he would later return to music on a full-time basis.
John Roy Zat has released three albums, Solo, Collaborations, and his most recent album, Who’s Zat earlier this year. Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Zat about his life and career. He describes how music has shaped and molded his life and his own musical creation today.