Charlie Z has played professionally for over 40 years, playing classical music to jazz. As a clarinetist, he started studying privately with the woodwind professor in residence at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, Kansas at the age of 12. During high school, Charlie started playing gigs with local rhythm sections developing his ability to improvise on standards. After high school, Charlie received his degree in music from the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, Missouri. During his college years, Charlie began to also include the Alto and Tenor Saxophones and began playing in some of the night clubs in K.C.
In 1967 Charlie joined the Air Force Concert Band in Washington D.C. For the next four years, he performed for U.S. Presidents and dignitaries both nationally and internationally. Finally in 1974, Charlie made his home in Denver, Colorado and has lived there since.
Over the years, Charlie has performed with such jazz notables as Roseanna Vitro, Dick Hindman, Richy Cole, Dave Zoller, Eric Gunnison, Bruce Forman, Paul Warburton, and many others. He has toured with Doc Severinson and Red Skelton and has performed at many jazz festivals including Telluride, CO. The DJQ was one of the featured groups at the Queenstown, New Zealand Jazz Festival in 2004.
As a producer, "Z" and his company Zanichelli Productions brought some of the finest names in Jazz to Denver and presented them in concert with their recording and touring groups. Such notables included Milt Jackson, Herb Ellis, Stanley Turrentine, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Farrell, Ray Brown, Monte Alexander, Gene Harris, Tito Puente, Buddy Rich Orchestra and the Woody Herman Orchestra among many others. The Woody Herman concert at Mammath Event Center also was declared "Woody Herman Day" by Mayor Frederico Pena. It was Woody's 50th anniversary tour.
Charlie is now concentrating his time as both a soloist in the Denver Jazz Quartet as well as general manager and promotions director for the DJQ. He has also started another company, Zanichelli Entertainment, which will focus on promoting both local and national jazz artists in concerts both in Colorado and nationally.