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Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Band Rock Jam


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Kazyak @ Floyd's

Victoria, Minnesota, USA

Victoria, Minnesota, USA

Kazyak @ Silver Dollar Saloon

Elizabeth, Minnesota, USA

Elizabeth, Minnesota, USA

Kazyak @ Gabe's

Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Iowa City, Iowa, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



A blend of “funky jazz,” “rootsy bluegrass” and elements of classical make up the music created by Kazyak (pronounced KAZ-yak).

Jed Anderson, Peter Frey and Danny Vitali met during their freshman year at St. John’s University and began playing music together. All three do vocals for the band with Anderson on drums, Frey on guitar and Vitali on bass.

After graduating in 2008, the three moved to Austin, Texas where they created their first album, “A Beautiful Brontosaurus,” featuring 11 original songs.

“The album-making process was extremely challenging,” Anderson said. “It definitely pushed the limits, but in the end we found our sound.”

Kazyak has been years in the making, but the three agree the band is only about two months old. The band recently moved back to Minnesota to begin promoting its music.

“We wanted to start in the Midwest where we’re closer to friends and family,” Anderson said.

The target audience for Kazyak is university students because the three say they relate with students, being just two years out of college. Only a few shows on their tour are at college campuses, though. Kazyak has been playing shows this summer. Tonight, the band will be back at St. John’s where it all began.

“The initial intent was to perform at universities, said Flor Trevino, promotional supporter for the band.
“It’s a special show because that’s where the boys met and kicked off the band.”

It’s hard for the band to schedule shows at universities during the summer because most students were not on campus, but Anderson, Frey and Vitali hope to have more shows at universities in the future.

Right now, the band is just looking forward to returning to SJU.

“We didn’t just learn what it was we studied,” Frey said. “SJU taught us if you want something, you go out there and do it. That has been the thing that stayed with us.”

The somewhat wacky personalities of the three members shine through on the band’s website, both in the way they describe themselves and the blog asking fans to answer the question “What is a Kazyak?”

“This is a first attempt for all of us at our own company,” Vitali said. “It’s fun. We’re definitely all learning.”

Although tonight’s performance is at SJU, it's not meant exclusively just for university types. Kazyak is extending an invitation to the entire community. The opening act, "Mister," will start the night at 9 p.m. Kazyak will take the stage at 10 p.m. in Brother Willie’s Pub at Sexton Commons.

“We do market to college students because of our own identities, but we think others will enjoy it,” Anderson said.

To listen to the band’s music or see its extended performance schedule, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on the link to their website.

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010 by Samantha Bushey - St. Joseph News

Kazyak, an electric-folk-rock band that incorporates funky jazz, rootsy bluegrass and even elements of classical musical will play Thursday night at Crosstown Lounge in Grand Forks to promote its debut album “A Beautiful Brontosaurus.”

Word count: 297

To continue reading the full text, purchase this article or subscribe to PressPass - Grand Forks Herald

Kazyak, a brand-new band with an unusual name, is carving out a new musical niche. This Minneapolis-based group has broad influences, including instrument-laden jam from the Grateful Dead, Phish, and others, but has informed their current sound through the lyric-laden music of Texas with its influence on country, ballads, and folk.

We got a chance to visit with the band, whose members are Danny Vitali on bass, Jed Anderson on drums, and Peter Frey on guitar. Here’s what they have to say about their music.

Refrain: How long have you guys been together?

Peter Frey: We’ve only been open for business since of June of 2010. We all went to college together at St. John’s University. We graduated from college in 2008. We’ve been playing together for about four years or so. When you’re in college, it’s hard. People are abroad and they’re traveling. But it was after school, that we moved to Austin TX and played together for a couple of years. We wrote a lot of music there and we recorded a lot of music there. Then we moved back up to Minneapolis and kind of launched the group.

The music in this kind of incarnation of musicians. It all kind of started in Austin. We all just had a lot of experience playing through that. We did it to get better at our instruments and just play and play. We really like other people’s music. We like Grateful Dead, Phish. We were continuously writing to improve our sound.

We have been calling our music electric folk. At the essence of our music, it’s like simple folk songs, though they are not. It could be on a simple guitar. But when you come see us live, we have a big drumset, an electric bass, and guitar. It may not sound like you’d think of folk music.

Refrain: Do you do a mix of covers and originals?

Danny Vitali: We do mostly originals, with a few covers

Peter Frey: We do an 80/20 split. If you put us up on stage and say play as long as you want. We’d probably play 4- 4 ½ hours. Three and a half of those 4 ½ hours would be originals.

It really has been one of the toughest codes to crack. I think that’s why we’re so attracted to it. We keep there’s something worth listening to. There are a lot of cover bands out there, but there are a lot of bands that play originals. There are software programs and recording programs that are making it infinitely easier and more accessible. We can share and kind of make it worth something.

When we were younger, there wasn’t much song structure. We could just sit and play and jam forever. It didn’t matter how organized it was. But with Kazya kand actually putting a show together, we are really taking songwriting more seriously than we used to. Instead of just having a couple of chords to play, maybe there were no verses, just a chorus. It was just about the feel of the song. Now, it’s more about the quality of the song, everything down to the verse, what we’re saying, what we’re talking about, talking to, who sang it. We’re kind of having a conversation on stage. After we kind of reached a kind of proficiency with our instruments and working with friends of ours, other songwriters, we are just putting in the time ourselves to just build a well rounded song.

Refrain: Who is our principal songwriter?

Peter Frey: I write most of the music, but what’s really awesome about it is I couldn’t write music if I wasn’t in company of Jed and Danny. The band is really time consuming. It’s not like I can go to my room and be a hermit and come to the band and say, “Oh I wrote this song.” It’s much more inclusive. Most of the new material that’s been generated and created while we’ve been practicing. When you think about the structure of the organization around the Kazyak idea, for a while there really wasn’t much organization. It was just random titles. Over time, we just added more ideas to our sound.

Refrain: Is there anything that you especially wanted to tell this audience in Grand Forks to look for in a live Kazyak show?

Jed Anderson: Don’t expect the album. Don’t expect that. We pride ourselves very much on being able to keep things as loose as we can for the sake of keeping things fresh and new, and always have room for experimentation in it as much as we can. If it gets too much, we can really alienate an audience….And there is a separation between the stage and the audience. We don’t want that. But we want to bring something that is full and that you can really dig into.

Peter Frey: One simple addition to that is just the visual component of our live show. What Jed was talking about just staying as fresh as possible is with a lighting engineer. We travel with numerous lights that just sets the mood of the venue. In the studio setting, when we record, we’re not necessarily being overly visual about it. You write your words down on a piece of paper and it’s all neatly packaged. You will see explosive energy from the stage because of what we’re feeling. We’re not bored at all. If we were just playing our music because there’s a lot of complexity in it. But the added bonus of being able to have a visual show that we can provide.

Thursday, September 9, 2010
By Janie Franz - Refrain Magazine

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) — Kazyak will release their debut album, A Beautiful Brontosaurus on August 10, 2010 through GroundUp Productions. The trio’s rollicking jams and melodic vocals blend jazz, bluegrass and even classical elements to create a sound that is not contained by traditional labels.

Like the band name, the music in this album has that same feeling of being half composed and half improvised. Yet at its core, Kazyak is a rock band.

Featuring 11 original songs, the full-length CD showcases wide ranging form and structure while skillfully using improvisation that dances away from musical molds. It is a lyrically-driven album that incorporates energetic instrumental sections that gather people around and tell them a story.

With roots stretching back to the land of 10,000 lakes, Jed Anderson, Peter Frey and Danny Vitali learned their craft together and are people who love music, are enthusiastic about it, and want to share it.

“Having written, recorded and performed extensively with Kazyak, we know first-hand that their musicianship, creativity and professionalism have no limits,” say The Okee Dokee Brothers, a renown kindie band. “Without a doubt, Kazyak is made up of the most talented musicians we know."

Kazyak is currently booking shows in support of their new album, A Beautiful Brontosaurus. The full album is now available on Kazyak’s music site: www.Kazyak.net.

For more information, contact Flor Trevino at (512) 879-7625 or Flor@GroundupPro.com

- GroundUpPro.com

Some band mates go their separate ways after graduation, but Danny Vitali, Jed Anderson and Peter Frey did the opposite; they moved in together.

The graduates got an apartment in Austin, Texas.

“Austin has been a really good place to (be a band)” Vitali said. “We get to watch really good music like whenever.”

The trio played in the bluegrass group Wagon Wheels along with Joe Mailander, while at CSB/SJU. In 2007, they won the Battle of the Bands, winning the right to open for Cake at Pinestock.

Mailander graduated in December 2007, moved to Minneapolis, and with Justin Lansing, formed the Okee Dokee Brothers. The duo plays children’s music.

The other three called their new band Kazyak, and in between day jobs in Austin, they played and wrote music. They’ve been playing show at clubs in Austin. Last fall, the band recorded a live album at a concert and sent it out to friends.

“We couldn’t even hardly mix it or anything,” Vitali said.

Nonetheless, many of their friends were happy to hear what the band mates had been up to.

Drummer Jed Anderson moved back to Minnesota last year. Vitali and Frey plan to return this summer to promote Kazyak in the Midwest. Vitali said the three of them will in together at Frey’s cabin to work on more albums.

The trio plans to play with Mailander and Lansing of The Okee Dokee Brothers in what they call “kids’ music for adults.”

Until Vitali and Frey return, they are working — Vitali gardens and Frey works for the Entrepreneur Foundation of Texas.

“I’m just busy. I garden four days a week,” Vitali said. “Peter (Frey) is pretty busy, too, but we still find lots of time to play music.”

Record’s Take
Fans of jam bands or bluegrass will find something to listen to on Kazyak’s live album. Frey comes up with some spectacular guitar solos and percussionist Anderson and bassist Vitali are rock solid in the rhythm section throughout. All three contribute vocals.

Kazyak creates their own sound, but their music is reminiscent of Phish and even Explosions in the Sky on instrumental tracks.

Those interested in a copy of the album should visit www.Kazyak.com. Watch out for Kazyak’s upcoming studio album and live shows this fall. - The Record


Release Date: October 19, 2010
Label: GroundUp Productions
Length: 57:48

1. Join the Band
2. Now I Know
3. Cactus
4. Cochino
5. Mean Egg Jed
6. Rushing Dragon
7. Don't Let's Be Silly
8. Strange
9. Daisy May's Days
10. Sharks & Whales
11. Brontosaurus



Jed Anderson, Peter Frey, and Danny Vitali began at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN. After graduating in 2008, they moved to Austin, TX in search of a musical sound they could call their own. After a year of living and playing together thousands of miles away from home, an electric folk-rock band named Kazyak was born.

As one member moved back to MN for love, the group began their in-house recording of A Beautiful Brontosaurus, Kazyak's debut album. Working primarily over the interwebs, they recorded the music, drew pictures of dinosaurs, and picked Kazyak as a band name because they liked the smell of it. Now, Kazyak is back in Minnesota touring all over the country in support of their debut album.

Featuring 11 original tunes, the trio blends funky jazz, rootsy bluegrass, and even classical music elements with a bit of post Phish sprinkled here and there to create a sound that is catching the ears of audiences.