Elton show, March Birthday Residency, RSD show, RECORD RELEASE & more!

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Hello… from the office! This will be the cheap quick update for shows, etc in late Feb/March/April for now.

Also… Please consider opting in to Hey Man Records! (click here) mostly bi-monthly newsletter. Hey Man! is a local artist-collective I’m pleased to be part of. It’s not a traditional record label… but an umbrella. There are some talented Chicago-based artists, many of whom I’m lucky to call friends. There will be regular updates on shows, including mine, and I’ll have a feature in later April leading up to my album release! Help me help Hey Man! Records grow their mailing list. Thank you.


Sun Feb 17th, 2pm MATINEE! – Elton John Tribute @ SPACE in Evanston 

Saturday March 9th, 7-9 pm – Tommi’s Birthday Residency Show – at Wishbone North 3300 N Lincoln (more details tba)

Sun April 7th, 2-3pm – Tz & Alton Smith @ Glenview Pub. Library – a Motown duo set!

Saturday April 13, Record Store Day @ Squeezebox Records in Evanston – Tommi & John San Juan play Donovan! exact time tba, but around 1 or 2 pm.

Palm Sunday April 14 – Wishbone Residency Show with Natalie Galey. Tz and Natalie will reprise their Joni Mitchell duo show one last time, and play an extra set of favorites!

Record release date for Tommi Zender “More Songs About Time” is Friday May 3rd. LP’s and CD’s will start shipping; bonus content will begin delivery as well.

Record release show is Sunday June 2nd @ SPACE in Evanston, 7pm!!! (details tba)


Pre-Order My New Record!

tz_msat_albumtype_v1 (dragged)

To everyone who has backed the “More Songs About Time” campaign so far and pre-purchased my new record I’d like to express my sincere gratitude. THANK YOU!!! I truly appreciate your collective help getting this music released. It’s been a long time coming.

I still have more to do before the album will be in your hands (and hopefully your ears) this spring. The Indiegogo page will continue to run through the spring. It is the primary way to PRE-ORDER the music, in whatever format you like. Any additional funds raised will continue to offset funds already spent making the album, and also be put toward preparing for it’s release, including a show (TBA) at SPACE Evanston in early June.

The record’s LP artwork is nearing completion; the CD as well. The audio files for all formats will be triple-checked before sending them on for manufacturing. Lastly in late winter I will cull together & master the bonus tracks/demos.

You’ve planted a seed; in the spring you’ll receive the record!

If you are still on the fence about buying it in advance I hope you’ll consider doing so. It is much appreciated.

Peace & love to all of you,

Tommi Zender

New Album: More Songs About Time


Hello Everyone!

I’m very pleased to announce my new record: More Songs About Time. It’s my first in 15 years; 10 songs recorded in a great studio, and I’m truly excited about it. I need YOUR HELP getting the record manufactured. It’s due for Spring 2019 release (late April/early May).

I’m launching an Indiegogo funding campaign. This is the first one of these I’ve ever done. Please visit the link to learn more about the record! There is a quick video, and a written synopsis about the project.

Please consider PRE-PURCHASING the work to help me fund it.

There are many special “perks’ available. Perks include the album in the format(s) of your choice, bonus outtake materials (acoustic & instrumental versions, unreleased songs) original demos for the LP, TINY HOUSES!, help with IKEA furniture, my help with your music, private lessons, a private house concert & more!

Please feel free to share the Indiegogo campaign link with others. THANK YOU for your interest and support of this work. I think it’s a quality record most of you music-lovers will enjoy.

Quick Glance Events Jan/Feb 2019

wb flyer 1 &2.2019

A quick rundown of stuff forthcoming…

Monday Jan 14 @ Sylvies (w/Steve Dawson, John Abbey, Alton Smith & more)

Sunday Jan 20 @ Wishbone (3300 N Lincoln Ave) Featuring a cavalcade of guests! 7-9pm

Saturday Jan 26 @ Old Town School of Folk Music: Joni Mitchell/Leonard Cohen Tribute ConcertTz plays with Natalie Galey and students of Eclectic Electric Ensemble.

Sunday Jan 27 – Fretboard Geography Workshop @ OTSLincoln Square, 2pm advance sign up recommended.


Saturday Feb 2 @ Wishbone (3300 N Lincoln Ave, w/special guest Justin Roberts!) 7-9pm

Friday Feb 8 – Winter Beatles Social @ OTSLincoln Square 7:30-9pm -advance sign up recommended.

Sunday Feb 17 @ SPACE, Evanston – Elton John Tribute Show (feat. Alton Smith) 2pm

Sunday Feb 24 – 909 Armitage Ensemble Class Shows -Old Town School, 5pm


Bandcamp Page & New LP Coming

Trinkets Cover

There is a NEW Bandcamp page up for my music. For the first time my very first record “Trinkets of Joy – Just Like Mom Used to Make” (1999) is available digitally on the internet. Recorded on 4-track in a basement in Evanston IL with Larry Brown (Drums) Chris Greene (sax on 3 songs) and Jonah Kraut (cello on 3 songs) an option to purchase the physical CD with full artwork (there are like 40 left and that’s it–no reissue/repressing will be done).

words get in the way cover art scan

Additionally the instrumental ambient guitar soundscapes record “Words Get in The Way” (2009) is now available on the internet. Recorded in a log cabin in 2001, it is intended for relaxation, meditation, yoga, backdrop, road rage. Limited quantities of the actual CD with artwork are also available.

And now for something I’m really excited about…

Robyn Bauer photo for potential cover shot

Coming in Spring of 2019 Tommi Zender “More Songs About Time”

10 original songs, recorded by Justin James, one song co-written with Dave Sills. All instruments performed by Tommi Zender, with guest lap-steel guitar by the great Christine Bougie (who plays with one of Canada’s finest music groups Bahamas)

More info coming soon!

House Concert Nov 3rd with Steve Dawson in Evanston/Skokie @ The Pig & Weasel

Steve Dawson & Tommi Zender play 2 sets in this great listening room at 7:30pm Saturday November 3rd. The Pig & Weasel is located on a residential street west of McCormick Ave, just north of Dempster in Evanston/Skokie (Skevanston!). Seating is limited (about 45-50 people) and it’s suggested donation of $15 all of which goes to the artists. They have a stage, lights, and sound-system. There is an area downstairs for gathering with snacks and drinks (some provided, BYO as well) prior to the show, and at the intermission.

Please visit www.thepigandweasel.com or call 847-568-5818 for seating reservations.

Emily Hurd (Christiansen) has to postpone her guest appearance in October. Tommi plans to mix it up a bit, with some electric guitars, looping, and new songs/interpretations. Suggested donation, free parking on Sundays. Wishbone is a great listening room with excellent food and drink. Music at 7:30; 2 sets with an intermission this time.

Summer Music News

Greetings Music Fans!

Here are some upcoming summer events:

Wishbone, Thurs June 28 with guitarist Andy Pratt.

Thursday June 28, 7pm – Tommi Zender with special guest Andy Pratt @ Wishbone. Expect some of Andy’s songs, some of Tommi’s, select cover songs and IMPROVISATION! Andy is a very talented guitarist, as well as Tommi’s former neighbor. These two guys get together to make music and things really click–this will be a fun one night only deal so don’t miss it!

Wishbone North (3300 N Lincoln Ave) has a great food and drinks. There is no cover; suggested donation. If desired you can get reservations for table seats 773-549-2663

More Tz Summer Wishbone Residency Shows:

Thursday July 12 with the multi-talented student Gabe Michael!
Thursday August 9 with pianist Alton Smith!

All shows are all ages 7pm-9pm.

Summertime Beatles Social, New Session Old Town School Classes, Private Lessons

Friday July 27, 7:30-9pm – The Summertime BEATLES SOCIAL @ Old Town School, in SZOLD HALL (the east building) Lincoln Square. Hosted by Tommi Zender with guest Gabe Michael. Participants take home a generous packet of Beatles songs (& early solo LP tracks) and a great big smile. It’s kind of like a campfire sing-a-long without the campfire. Chairs, music stands and air-conditioning are provided. BYOB. Advance sign up is highly recommended at http://www.oldtownschool.org, by phone or in person at any OTS location.


NEW SESSION of OLD TOWN SCHOOL CLASSES STARTS MONDAY JUNE 25th. Here are the ensemble classes taught by Tommi at Old Town School:

Beatles Acoustic Ensemble – Tuesdays @ 6:30pm (909 Armitage, Lincoln Park)
Guitar Forever – Tuesdays @ 8pm (909 Armitage)
Folk Rock Acoustic Ensemble – Wednesdays @ 6:30pm (Lincoln Square East)
Eclectic Electric Ensemble – Wednesdays @ 8pm (Lincoln Square East; co-taught with the great Steve Doyle)

All ensembles perform at the end of the session; no Wednesday classes on 4th of July this year. Sign up! Take a class with Tommi or any of the many multi-talented teaching artists at OTS. http://www.oldtownschool.org to sign up and/or shop for classes.


Tommi has open spots for Private Lessons. If you or someone you know wants individual music coaching (learn your favorite songs, many styles of guitar, percussion/drums, music theory, songwriting, singing, RHYTHM!) Private study is a great supplement to group classes. Simply reply to this email for more information.

New Album Preview

In case you missed it, at the start of 2018 I began work on a 3rd album of 10 songs, titled “More Songs About Time” with engineer/co-producer Justin James. The album is almost done. Here is a sample of one of the songs “Learn to Be Alone” in rough mix form here.

Other upcoming performances…

Thursday July 5, 9-11pm – Tommi Zender @ Hyatt Centric in the Level Two Lounge (St, Clair & Erie, just off Michigan ave mag mile) Free; food & drink available; plenty of comfortable seating. Also…Thursday August 2nd.  First Thursday of each month