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The Ramblin' Mike

Edward Zincavage

By Michael Guthrie

Live Music


Victory Open Mic Host / Musician / Teacher / Recording Engineer!
Edward Zincavage rented a small guest house from Suzie Gray and the rest is history. Suzie talked of Victory Music and suggested he join and get involved. One night at the open mic at Ravenna Third Place Books I asked Edward if he would like to help with sound, since he spends part of his busy schedule as a recording engineer.
Lola Pedrini was looking for someone to run the Victory Music open mic at Lake Forest Park, and Ed soon found himself to be host and emcee. He performed these duties for an entire year, and then passed the baton to Alan Camhi, who carried on until the venue's recent closure. (Prospective tenants should note: when you are dealing with a 30-year member of Victory Music, house rental agreements sometimes come with small print that reads "You will volunteer for Victory Music.")
Running an open mic is no easy task. What inspires someone to volunteer for something like this? For Edward Zincavage it was a chance to learn how to manage a stage and host a lineup of 20 to 30 musicians. Edward said, "I learned how to work with musicians ranging from beginners to pros, and it was a great opportunity to meet and network with a lot of musicians." He also feels this is a good way to get exposure as well as a way to give something back to the community.
Being an experienced musician, Edward knows how important it is to get exposure. He has performed and taught music for several decades and has garnered critical acclaim and radio airplay in places such as New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. In 1988 his CD Blood of a Poet (recorded in his basement with Ellen Zincavage) was listed in the Seattle Weekly along with such CDs by such notables as Bill Frisell and Robert Cray as one of the Yearly Top Ten Recordings by critics Roger Downey and Bart Becker. He also made the Top Ten list in the Seattle Rocket with his song "Asbestos."
Edward was especially interested in the variety of music and the different skill levels he encountered while hosting the Lake Forest Park open mic. For example, there were veteran performers like Suzie Gray, who at 87 years old has recently produced her own CD and is working on her second one; she can "boogie woogie" the ivories with the best of them. Another highlight performer there was Sean Sterling, who plays the piano and the Chapman Stick. Sean used to work for Synclavier in New England and once taught Oscar Peterson how to use one of the early Synclavier synthesizers. Sean also worked in the Las Vegas scene with veterans like Wayne Newton.
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Edward moved to Seattle in 1985. He has since been active as a teacher, producer, composer, recording artist and performer. With a current list of forty guitar students a week, his days are pretty full teaching at Moore Bros. Music in Sammamish, WA and at his home studio in Lake Forest Park. Edward is also involved in recording projects at his home studio. Recently, Edward teamed up with Pamela Mortensen to form a new ethno/electric/ambient art-pop duo named Mude' . Their goal is to release a CD by June of 2005. He also works with Pamela Edward, a solo blues performer, playing twelve-string and bottleneck guitar.
He has studied various music styles, including classical, flamenco, blues, folk, ethnic and electronic. His musical influences include John Hammond, Brendan Perry, Daniel Ash, John Cippolina, Chris Whitely and Kelly Jo Phelps. Whether playing acoustic roots music or electronic music, Edward puts his heart into it and comes through loud and clear.
If you are considering playing an open mic for the first time, or even if you have already done so, Edward's advice for all is to respect the rules by not playing longer than your allotted time, and to get there early and be prepared when your time comes. Doing this will help the open mic run smoothly and you will be showing your respect for your fellow musicians and the host.
You can learn more about open mic hero Edward Zincavage at

Michael Guthrie is a singer/songwriter who regularly plays venues in the NW. and is a Victory Music sound volunteer. He has produced his own CD and ran his own coffee house/cafe, The Village Green Cafe in Kaslo, BC from 1973-79. He studied sound engineering and recording at Sound Master Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA in 1987. Contact: moorafa@mindspring.com www.moorafa.com



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