There are events in life that are milestones. Your marriage and the birth of your children are two big ones. People that participate in these milestones become part of those milestones and, in essence, a part of your life story. Dan Zola and the Dan Zola Orchestra are one of the participants in the life story of my wife and I.
Our Wedding Band
The Dan Zola Orchestra was the MC and entertainment at my wedding at the Ballroom at Park Lane in 2016. My wife, Marie, LOVES jazz, particularly from the swing era. It was important that that was reflected in our wedding reception entertainment. After much research and interviews, we chose the Dan Zola Orchestra for our wedding. It was a great choice. We will never forgot their rendition of “Sing, Sing, Sing with a Swing” as our guests entered the ballroom ( I still get goosebumps just thinking about it). We were very happy and have tried to get out and see the orchestra any chance that we get. My absolute favorite wedding pictures by the incomparable Jerry Ghionis has Dan and other bandmates.
One Last Performance
Last night, the orchestra’s leader and namesake, Dan Zola, gave is last cut off at Brothers Lounge in Lakewood. He retired in grand fashion after leading his band for a breathtaking 60 years. Organized beautifully by Dan Zola singer Dianne Palmer, the place was jam packed. Literally nowhere to walk and standing room only. Dan led the orchestra thru some of the classics. “Tuxedo Junction”, “I Get a Kick Out of You” a Buddy Rich piece “Love For Sale” amongst them.
People from Dan’s life, both personally and professionally, filled the room. Dan officially directed his band thru these pieces one last time. It was a site and I was honored to have participated in the event. Some prominent figures from the Cleveland Jazz scene showed up to sit in.
Dan said he would sit in from time to time but he would now spend his time with his family and fishing (ah, the life!). And he said that he was glad that he no longer had to load the car (any musician, except maybe some singers (jk) can appreciate that ).
A fitting and wonderful tribute for a man who has provide over 60 years of entertainment.
The Dan Zola Orchestra will be led by musical director Eric Dregne.
Here are a few pictures from the event.