FROM CLASSICS TO POP
Most Saint Johners know of Jordan Zed from his competition days in the New Brunswick Competitive Fesitival of music.
His classical piano captured many honours.
But few may know that he is now touting himself as a pop artist.
Zed, 20, is studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston on scholarship from the Berklee World Scholarship Tour, where is is studying voice and songwriting. He moved there last January after studying piano and composition. His ambition is to make it big in the music world. And his professor at Berklee thinks Zed has the stuff to make his dreams come true. He's willing to bet his reputation on it.
"Jordan Zed has to have one of the finest voices that I've heard in my long tenure at this school," wrote Jon Aldrich, associate professor of songwriting at the school, in a letter of recommendation. "If this talented young man does not make his presence known very quickly in the music biz, there's something very wrong.
"I'm staking my reputation on the fact that he will do me proud," he added.
"Jordan has more star quality than I've heard in a long time."
His talent recently earned him a win at the Maritime Broadcasting System's Startrack 1999 Songwriting Competition, and the Chico Berardi Scholarship. The scholarship is named after a man who came to the Maritimes in the 1970's with the Bobby Curtola Band and never left. In 1994, Berardi died of Parkinson's disease, leaving behind his wife and young son.
Last week, Zed also was one of eight people selected to showcase their own songs at the Berklee Performance Center.
"It went very well," said his mother, Marsha Zed. "You can't get too much information from Jordan. But his roommate, Ryan, said it went really well."
He has worked on a variety of recording projects, including the making of his first mini-CD produced by Hayward Parrott in the fall of 1998. Since then, Zed has performed his original song Angel in the Dark at Saint John's Imperial Theatre and had his music receive airtime on CBC and K100.
He also has appeared on ASN/ATV's Breakfast Television.
Zed recently completed his latest three-song recording project entitled Hideaway in Boston and New York. It blends his unique pop style with R&B-influenced vocals. His music is about life and love, which aims to strike a common chord in the listener.
"I believe that music can make our vast world much smaller by melting our apparent differences into our deeper common bonds," he writes in a message on his Web site. (www.jordanzed.com).
His web site is just one tool he is using to promote his music. He has also developed a Saint John-based company, ZED Entertainment Inc.
Between his academic and professional career, Zed is keeping busy. While he is trying to raise his profile in the music world, he is also trying to maintain his standing on the dean's list at Berklee. This week, Zed is studying for his exams.***
Saint John Times Globe