Zach LoPresti is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, instructor, and producer from the Philadelphia area. Dedicated to a rich and varied musical life, he has made a career out of involvement in many projects and wearing a variety of hats. The current pursuits Zach invests time & energy into include his boundary defying band Gnarbot, co-production of the music/education/art festival Beardfest, many music students of all skill levels and ages through his Zachademy of Music, serious involvement in various Philadelphia based original musical projects, and original artist production/session work.
In his 10 years as a professional musician, Zach has had a wide variety of experiences. Some highlights include writing the original score for a ballet, co-founding and continuing to produce South Jersey's Beardfest, earning the title of Music Director at the Cherry Hill School of Rock...leaving that position to start his own private music school (Zachademy of Music), sharing bills with musical heroes such as Wayne Krantz, Billy Cobham, Kneebody, Knower, Parliament Funkadelic, and Lettuce, drumming for a West African Evangelical church for 5 years, and being a regular part of Philly's Funk-N-Bowl All-Star band. LoPresti is also known for his ability to quickly learn music of many styles, resulting in his frequent work as a sideman and sub.
Zach's efforts have recently earned him recognition as Elephant Talk Indie Music Magazine's Musician of the Decade and Guitarist of the Decade. He's also been fortunate to make music with some incredible local and world famous talents including John Medeski, Billy Martin, MonoNeon (Prince), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Jon Anderson (Yes), Brenden Small (Dethklok), Robert "Sput" Searight, Nate Werth (Ghost-Note), Chris Bullock, (Snarky Puppy), DJ Logic, Josh Dion (paris_monster), Eli Winderman, Chuck Jones (Dopapod), Julie Slick (Adrian Belew Trio), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson), Mike Greenfield (Lotus), Tim Palmieri (Kung-Fu), Matt Cappy and more.
MAKE MUSIC EVERY DAY
I've always been most inspired by creating original music. The processes involved, from writing and recording to releasing and performing an original piece that I've been a part of manifesting are why I pursue music full time. I have made music on my own and with other people for over a decade. Click the links below to follow and connect with some of my most active projects of the recent years.
Teaching has been a part of my musical journey for a very long time. As a student of the School of Rock program in my high school years, I found my place as a natural leader and frequently helped guide individuals and/or ensembles towards playing their material to the highest degree of accuracy. The school's staff noticed this, and during my last couple years as a student would hire me as a substitute teacher when regular instructors were unavailable. I also began teaching private students as a senior in high school.
From ages 19-25, I developed my skills and fluency as both a private guitar/bass/drum instructor and an ensemble director. By age 22, teaching was a big enough part of my life to survive as an adult earning a living wage. My varied musical leanings and personal study enabled me to mentor students in a slew of ways including technique, rhythm & harmony, improvisation, ear training, composing, recording, working with others, hosting events, growing original bands, and more. At age 25, I accepted the position of Music Director for the Cherry Hill School of Rock. I learned a lot through the experience of being the head of music for the widely known and praised program, but ultimately decided that I wanted to leave and do things my own way. This lead to the formation of the Zachademy of Music.
My goal in starting the Zachademy was to combine the best elements from University level education with the off kilter approach found in programs like the School of Rock. Students (aged 10-22) were taught to perform technically challenging music of all styles, and given opportunities to perform in front of enthusiastic crowds. This was pulled off with the incomparable talents of co-teacher Zack Smith, a longtime friend and collaborator. In addition to just learning the music, a strong emphasis was put on both understanding the underlying theory and learning to love and appreciate it. Improvisation was often a large part of the material chosen, as was original music written by the students & instructors. Zachademy was often booked to headline regional music festivals and reputable venues like The Ardmore Music Hall, which motivated students to put true effort and passion into learning and execution.
As I'm writing this, we are about six months into the Covid-19 pandemic. Between the pandemic and the prioritization of other musical-entrepreneurial goals, the ensemble element of my teaching practice is on hiatus. Nonetheless, teaching is still a big part of my life. My student roster consists of a very diverse collection of musicians between the ages of 5 and 60. Some are complete beginners, others are high-schoolers or college students who aim to pursue music professionally, some are music teachers or band leaders themselves. My lessons are all taught in my home studio (Clementon, NJ) or virtually through Zoom. I am also an adjunct professor for the Camden County College and aim to work with other collegiate institutions in the future.