The Best Kind of Musicians
It is quite rare to find a genuine musician that goes above and beyond purely for the love of their music, and dedication to their craft. I had the pleasure of speaking with one of those people today. Steve Zukowsky is the guitarist of Led Zeppelin tribute band – Zeppelin USA. He is a very talented and hard working guitarist, and each member of the band is just as excellent.
The entire band is filled with accomplished professional musicians that have clicked in a way that brings out the best in the band and each other. Steve was originally in another Zeppelin tribute called Led Zepagain, which he left to eventually find amazing chemistry with the members in Zeppelin USA.
A Young Passionate Musician
Steve has been learning guitar since he was 12 years old, studying all of the greatest musician of the century. He grew up constantly observing and applying everything he watched the greats do, and especially emulated the work of Jimmy Page. He later had the honor of performing for Jimmy Page, who praised him on his performance and attention to detail, signing an autograph for him: “Steve – Thanks for sounding so GOOD!!”
An unforgettable multi-media production
The members of Zeppelin USA are very talented and accomplished musicians, having played in front of tens of thousands of people. Their performance is an unforgettable multi-media experience, including huge video screens, low clouding fog, lasers, state of the art lighting, and theatrics. The show this band puts on is unlike any other.
About the members
Brody began learning piano and guitar by ear training himself at an early age. As an only child who moved frequently, music became his best friend. Studying Elvis and Motown records, Brody found himself not just singing along, but matching the different voices. In high school, the fascination for rock bands like Rush, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin took hold and never let go.
After graduating in southern California, Brody worked odd jobs and dabbled with bands, until a move to Las Vegas in 1991 would forever change his life. The city was ripe with entertainment at all hours, and an inquiry at a piano bar led to an audition, and soon a spree of gigs that culminated in the forming of the Las Vegas cover band Yellow Brick Road. Borrowing from his piano bar repertoire, Brody formed YBR as an Elton John tribute act, and within a year became a local favorite. YBR went on to drop the EJ bit and expand to covering the entire classic rock spectrum, including Pink Floyd, Rush, Journey, and many more….and of course Led Zeppelin always stood out as a favorite.
After 14 years, Brody began to feel he had run his course with both YBR and Las Vegas. Since 2009 he had been sidelining as frontman for Windborne Music’s shows with various U.S. orchestras, singing the music of Queen, The Who and The Rolling Stones. And so, in his farewell YBR performance, on June 18, 2011, Brody passed the microphone to vocalist Kelly Christian before 3,600 fans and began a new chapter of his life.
Moving back to So Cal with his family, it wasn’t long before new musical acquaintances were made, and a long-simmering idea of doing a Zeppelin tribute heated up. Formed in the winter of 2012, Zeppelin USA made a strong debut at the Our Town For Newtown benefits (which Brody organized), and by one year later, the group was filling 2,000 seat venues.
Brody’s powerful vocals and engaging stage performances are always a hit with audiences everywhere.
Picking up the guitar at the age of 12, Steve quickly learned to play by ear from the guitar heroes of the 70’s: Jimmy Page, Brian May, Michael Schenker, Ronnie Montrose, Pat Travers and more. After seeing Led Zeppelin at one of their final US concerts in 1977, he became a die-hard student of the Jimmy Page guitar technique. He remembers, “As soon as I got home from the show, I ran to get my guitar and figured out how to play ‘Over The Hills & Far Away’ right then!”
Steve was a pioneer of the Southern CA Tribute Band scene with “Sheer Heart Attack – A Royal Tribute to Queen,” which debuted in 1993, and was featured in the indie documentary, ‘Tribute – The Movie.’
Steve became well-known from the success of “Sheer Heart Attack,” and for the many other tribute bands he’s been involved in, including “Which One’s Pink?” (Pink Floyd), “Fireball” (Deep Purple), “Visions” (Rush), and “Led Zepagain” (Led Zeppelin).
His ten year career with Led Zepagain offered many highlights, including touring the globe, and the highest compliment…..getting to perform for Jimmy Page himself, who praised him on his performance and attention to detail, signing an autograph for him: “Steve – Thanks for sounding so GOOD!!”
As fate would have it, Steve’s departure from Led Zepagain coincided with Brody’s arrival in So Cal. The two knew of each other already, but hadn’t spoken. When Brody learned of Steve’s sudden availability, the seeds were sown, and the members of ZUSA formed in a rehearsal studio in Anaheim….the rest of course is history.
Steve’s uncanny ability to capture Page’s sound and playing technique is such a crucial element to ZUSA’s sound, but he also has a charm and charisma onstage that wins over every audience.
You find a guy like Jonathan once in a lifetime. A master of no less than 7 instruments, it’s no wonder Jon has been an in-demand musician as long as he’s been playing.
Jon formed and toured with the rock group Axel Brice in the late 80’s, which garnered high critical acclaim. On one particular evening, the band was joined onstage by none other than Jimmy Page himself….playing an entire hour set with them.
Relocating to Las Vegas in 2000, Jon played with various groups, including Panama, Radio Rage and Phoenix. Then in 2008 Jonathan met up with YBR frontman Brody Dolyniuk and the two developed a kinship. Jonathan was offered the position of keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist for YBR….a position he still retains to date.
After Brody’s departure from YBR in 2011, the two began discussing the idea of rekindling a Led Zeppelin project, which actually began a couple years prior but was placed on the back burner.
By the time the topic came up again, Brody had met drummer Pat Leon and guitarist Steve Zukowsky. It was then just a matter of getting together, and it then became apparent there was great chemistry among them.
ZUSA was born and Jonathan has been pulling double duty for YBR and ZUSA. Jonathan’s talent and work ethic are unmatched…..he literally picked up the bass and learned the instrument – astonishingly well – just for his role in ZUSA, along with playing bass pedals, keyboards, mandolin and singing the high vocal harmonies. John Paul Jones himself would be impressed.
Jon is also in the process of recording and releasing a solo album of originals.
Pat started playing the drums at age 5 and soon became active in bands by age 10. In Jr. High School, Pat was fortunate enough to meet and have the famous teacher Chuck Wackerman as his Jazz instructor. It was even more fortunate that he also had all 4 years of High School with Mr. Wackerman as his advanced Jazz director as well as private drum teacher. Pat would then go on to study with world renowned drummer, clinician & teacher Chuck Flores.
After graduating high school he enrolled in the Jazz program at Fullerton College on a full music scholarship. There he would study with Allen Carter who became another huge influence. Other major influences are Chris Partridge, Dave Goode, Esteban, James E. Keegan & Jughead. World Class Drummers John Wackerman, Chad Wackerman & Greg Bissonette are also on Pat’s roster of teachers.
Currently a top call show & recording drummer for Disney World Wide & drummer from Zeppelin USA: An American Tribute To Led Zeppelin, Pat also has a diverse body of work as far as styles & artists. He has been very fortunate to work, jam, record, tour or just share a stage with such artists as: Greg Walker (Santana), Roger Daltrey (TheWho), Reggie Boyd Jr. (The Staple Singers, Dolly Parton, Bob Marley), Kentucky Mark Meadows (Meredith Brooks, John Waite, Dweezil Zappa), Producer Scott Mathews (Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Sammy Hager), Frank Simes (The Who, Don Felder, Mick Jagger), Lanny Morgan & Rob McConnell (The Boss Brass), Bill Watros, Gordon Brisker, ToeHead, Composer/Producer Timothy Michael Wynn, Composer/Producer Chris Lennertz, Untanda, Dream Of Eden, Brett Walker, Fab Four Live, Beatleshow Vegas, Lights: The Premier Tribute to Journey, Jim Nabors, Don Ho, Tony Orlando & Dawn and many other talented artists.
Some accomplishments as a session drummer include credits on Network shows The Young & The Restless, The Bold & The Beautiful, One Life To Live, All My Children, Dawson’s Creek and Beverly Hills 90210. Educational projects Stand Alone Tracks improvisational skill builders Volumes 1 and 2. Cable Network film, sound track & score work for Cinemax, Showtime, HBO, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and The Lifetime Network. You can hear Pat on the Marvel Comic’s video game “The Punisher” & also the long awaited “Red Alert 3″ video game. You can find Pat all over the score to the soundtrack from the 2005 motion picture “Partners” & the soundtrack to the 2006 film “White Air”.
Endorsements: Heuer Drums, Aquarian Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals & Vater Drumsticks