This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Drew Zingg. Photo courtesy The Infrangible Syndicate.

The Arrival of Drew Zingg

If you haven’t heard of Drew Zingg ’81 (yet), you are not alone. Outside of the music industry and die-hard guitar aficionados, he hasn’t exactly been a household name. But that might be about to change.

If a group of Vassar alumnae/i succeeds in its mission, Zingg is about to get his long-due time in the spotlight. They are The Infrangible Syndicate, founded in 2010. The group is “dedicated to supporting the artistic endeavors of the ‘unsung creative genius’  … [to] identify and support active creative artists who have yet to receive the broad based, public acclaim and success they deserve.”

In other words, the Syndicate isn’t designed to manufacture stars. Its mission is to find overlooked diamonds and hold them up for the world to see. The Syndicate’s first project? Drew Zingg.

After more than three decades as a professional rock and blues guitarist, Zingg has established himself as one of the best in the business. During the mid-1990s, he was lead guitarist and musical director for Steely Dan. He also served as lead guitarist and musical director for New York Rock and Soul Revue, an aggregate of notable artists that included Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan), Walter Becker (also of Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (of the Doobie Brothers), Boz Scaggs, and Grammy winner Patti Austin.

He’s played venues from Madison Square Garden to the Grand Ole Opry. He also played Broadway, sitting in the pit as the lead guitarist for shows including Jersey Boys, Spamalot, Mama Mia!, and Hairspray. The New York Times, New York Post, and a long list of others sang very high praises.

All of this, and Guitar Magazine still called him one of the 12 “best guitarists you’ve never heard of.” Then along came The Infrangible Syndicate last year.

Six Vassar alums comprise the Syndicate’s core: music producer George (Weiss) Petit ’83, Susan (Miller) Copperman ’81, Kerry O’Connell ’80, Robin Skye ’80, Helen Mahoney Pardoe ’80, and Daniel Schneider ’79. They all knew Zingg way back when, and want to see him get the public acclaim he deserves now.

A cornerstone of their effort is the Drew Zingg Debut Album Project. Zingg, Petit, and a cadre of musicians and engineers recently finished a major bout of recording in the studio. This month, they’re headed back to wrap up. A DVD behind-the-scenes documentary is also in the works.

After decades as one of the most sought after backing musicians around, Drew Zingg is about to arrive. –Peter Bronski

October 2011

Back Issues