073 – Zack Albetta: Establishing Yourself in a New Town, Connecting With Your Audience, Creating a Network of Colleagues, Hosting a Podcast
Zack Albetta grew up in Santa Fe, NM, where he began drum lessons at age 8. Music was the focus of his high school years and he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from Ball State University.
In 2003, Zack entered graduate school at The University of Missouri-Kansas City and in four years, Zack earned Master’s degrees in Percussion Performance and Jazz & Studio Performance. While at UMKC, Zack’s primary mentor was alto sax legend and Grammy nominee Bobby Watson. Zack also studied drumset with Doug Auwarter, a master of jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban styles, who impressed upon Zack the importance of playing various styles authentically.
By the time he graduated in 2007, Zack was already in high demand on Kansas City’s rich and vibrant music scene. He spent the next three years playing with many of the area’s top artists and organizations including Bobby Watson, Shay Estes, Mark Lowrey, The Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and the 18th & Vine Big Band, with whom he backed up legendary vocalists Karyn Allison, Mary Stallings and Ernie Andrews.
In 2010, he set his sights on Los Angeles in search of new performance opportunities and a bigger musical market. Soon after arriving, Zack won an open audition to become a member of Disneyland’s Five & Dime Band.
In 2014 he joined The Jennifer Keith Sextet, a retro-swing band led by Royal Crown Revue founder Mando Dorame. During Zack’s tenure, the group headlined at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, The Catalina JazzTrax Festival, and LA’s marquis venues including Cicada Club and The Edison. During five years in LA, Zack amassed a deep and varied list of performance credits including Grammy and Oscar winner Johnny Mandel, Grammy nominees Kim Richmond and Pete Christlieb, Jacques Lesure, Ty Bailie, Nick Mancini, Center Theatre Group, Musical Theatre West and 3D Theatricals.
Zack relocated to Atlanta in 2016 and hit the ground running. In just a few months, he has become a go-to for some of the best talent in the Southeast including Jacob Deaton, Kevin Scott, The Atlanta Funk Society, Louis Heriveaux, and The Emerald Empire Band.
In January, 2016, Zack began his contribution to this podcast as a co-host.
Zack endorses: UFIP cymbals, Aquarian drum heads, Vater Sticks
In this podcast, Zack talks about:
Studying at UMKC (Masters of Music (classical percussion) & Master of Arts (Jazz studies))
Teacher & Sax player Bobby Watson teaching him the value of “The Hug” – connecting with audience and having fun.
Chart reading skills
Moving to LA and starting over in a new scene
Working for Disney
Leaving your ego at the door an learning the gig
Creating a network of colleagues
Current gigs in Atlanta
Zack’s interest in writing
The value of effective writing