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Zappa Plays Zappa on tour again this summer
Zappa Plays Zappa will this summer again embark on a North American tour. The tour starts July 18 at Winnipeg’s Centennial Hall with a total of 30 performance dates set for the tour’s first leg which concludes in Los Angeles at the end of August. Following a break, Zappa Plays Zappa embarks on a 17 city European tour including dates in the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In concept and performance, Zappa Plays Zappa offers audiences an opportunity to spend an evening with Frank Zappa’s music, performed meticulously by a group of top flight musicians who have been schooled in its subtleties. Far from a “tribute band,” Zappa Plays Zappa is more of a vehicle that underscores the compositional genius of Frank Zappa much as a symphony orchestra would perform pieces by a master composer. Nate Chenen, writing about Zappa Plays Zappa in the New York Times recognized this when he wrote that the show fully realized Dweezil's intent for it to be "an argument for Frank Zappa's legitimacy as a composer."
Frank Zappa died in 1993 after a career that saw him record over 80 albums. Today, the younger Zappa and his band mates are taking full advantage of the wealth and breadth of the material contained therein. "What we're preparing to do for this tour is perhaps even more complex than what we did on the first tour," says Dweezil. "Last year we learned about 40 songs from a very popular period of Frank's career and this year we will be learning about 30 more new ones that are somewhat more obscure. The tour will include material from 'We're Only In It For The Money,' 'Absolutely Free,' 'Weasels Ripped My Flesh,' 'Joe's Garage,' 'You Are What You Is,' The Yellow Shark' and much more, including orchestral works.”
Frank Zappa will be, quite literally, visible during the Zappa Plays Zappa concerts. Large screen video of Zappa will be accompanied musically by the band enabling concert goers who might never had the opportunity to see Frank Zappa on stage in person to have this experience first-hand. Dweezil will rotate Frank Zappa video performances over the course of the tour.
The band Dweezil (lead guitar) has assembled for this year’s Zappa Plays Zappa is composed of veterans of last year’s tour including Joe Travers (drums), Billy Hulting (percussion), Scheila Gonzalez (keyboards, saxophone, vocals), Aaron Arntz (keyboards/trumpet), Peter Griffin (bass) and Jaime Kime (rhythm guitar). Joining the tour this year is Ray White, the vocalist who toured and recorded with Frank Zappa during the period of such albums as “Tinsel Town Rebellion,” “You Are What You Is” and “Zappa in New York“ (his is the lead vocal on beloved song "The Illinois Enema Bandit").
Dweezil is also working on bringing Zappa Plays Zappa into the home with a feature length performance DVD, that documents the 2006 tour. It is expected to be released early this summer, concurrent with the 2007 tour.
Zappa Plays Zappa is an undertaking with a higher purpose in mind beyond filling seats with concert goers. Dweezil Zappa explains, “I think my Dad's music deserves to be heard by a wider audience. I really think he's been misunderstood for far too long, which brings me back to why I'm doing this: I'm so in awe of his accomplishments and want more and more people to know about him, and I think the best way for people to first discover his music is on a visceral level in a live situation. I think you have to be confronted with the complexity and the beautiful subtlety of all of it to fully appreciate the artistry of it."
Zappa Plays Zappa 2007 Tour Dates
18 - Winnipeg, Manitoba - Centennial Concert Hall
19 - Detroit Lakes, MN - 10,000 Lakes Festival
20 - Chicago, IL - Centennial Concert Hall
21 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave
22 - Indianapolis, IN - Egyptian Room
24 - Cincinnati, OH - Moonlite Gardens
25 - Erie, PA - Warner Theatre
26 - Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
27 - Detroit, MI - Meadow Brook Festival
28 - Cleveland, OH - Cain Park
30 - Toronto, Ontario - Hummingbird
31 - Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
1 - Quebec City, Quebec - Albert Rousseau Hall
2 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino
4 - Boston, MA - Fleet Boston Pavilion
5 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
6 - Westbury, NY - North Fork Theatre at Westbury
8 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
9 - Baltimore, MA - Ram's Head Tavern
10 - Norfolk, VA - NorVa
11 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
13 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
15 - Albuquerque, NM - Kiva Auditorium
16 - Tucson, AZ - Fox Theatre
17 - Phoenix, AZ - Dodge Theatre
18 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
20 - Berkeley, CA - Berkeley Community Theatre
21 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
22 - Anaheim, CA - House of Blues
23 - Los Angeles, CA - Wiltern Theatre
25 - London, UK - Shepherds Bush Empire
26 - Tilburg, Netherlands - Koncerthus
27 - Amsterdam, Netherlands- New Melkweg
29 - Fribourg, Switzerland - Le Fri-Son
30 - Munich, Germany Circus Krone
1 - Frankfurt, Germany - Jahrhunderthalle
3 - Stuttgart, Germany - Beethovensaal
4 - Erfurt, Germany - Messehalle
5 - Paris, France - Grand Rex
6 - Antwerp, Belgium - Elisabeth Hall
8 - Arhus, Denmark - The Music House
9 - Stavanger, Norway – Koncerthus
10 - Bergen, Norway - Peer Gynt
12 - Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene
13 - Lund, Sweden - Olympen
14 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus