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ZZZZ

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Collectively bending and defying genres, Chicago’s ZZZZ will hit you like a double-fisted chop to the throat. Comprised of ex-Sweep the Leg Johnny, Swing Kids, and Tekulvi members in addition to a classically trained pianist, you should expect the unexpected when entering the mysterious world of ZZZZ.

In 2002, alto-saxophonist and vocalist Steve Sostak saw the end of not one, but two bands. Sweep the Leg Johnny, who had released a string of well-received albums and justly earned a reputation as a raucous live act with a host of rigorous tours under their belt, called it quits after six years of existence. Shortly thereafter, Sostak’s other band, Check Engine disbanded as well.

During the same time, drummer Greg Sharp saw his band Tekulvi break up after the band realized they would no longer be able to maintain their hectic tour schedule after guitarist Chris Almodovar became the father of twins. Steve approached Greg and Chris with the idea of just “jamming in the space,” and considering the burden of jobs, school, and now children, there would be no pressure to record and tour. They then asked former Swing Kids and Sweep bassist John Brady to join them and round out the pressure-free sessions. With the framework for a couple of songs in place, Chris suddenly decided to move his family to upstate New York and Steve, Greg, and John found themselves guitar-less.

After playing with a few different guitar players through most of 2003, Sostak, on a tip from a friend, contacted Ellen Bunch about playing electric piano. Although Bunch had never played in a band, she was classically trained, and was willing to experiment with different song structures and styles.

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