ZOLA is a Billboard® award winning songwriter, recording artist and performance coach. Her songs span many genres ( jazz, blues, pop, country, cabaret and children’s music). She has lived in, and travels between, USA and South Africa, where she has and continues to perform as a solo artist and write and record new original music for upcoming albums, on commission, corporate events and for other artists.
ZOLA, born in Cape Town, South Africa, apparently began singing long before she could talk. She started composing songs at the piano at a very young age and by the time she was a teenager, she had already had a number of her songs published. Being the daughter of a world renowned Broadway actress/singer/comedienne, Chayela Rosenthal, ZOLA’s introduction to the arts came about at a very young age. Her love of musical theater came naturally, as did her gifted talents as a singer and her ability to act. By age three she was already the favorite child star in the open air summer stage shows. At age nine, ZOLA was singing and dancing in local community variety shows with “The Tripple Ripple” – a singing trio she formed with her two best buddies! She continued on to play the lead role in her school plays. Growing up, ZOLA saw every musical movie, or theatrical production that she could, after which she would race home, humming the theme songs in her head, and run to the piano where her little fingers would effortlessly bring those melodies out to play. While greatly inspired by Broadway musicals, film scores and instrumentals, ZOLA’s early, yet major, musical influences also included Barbara Streisand, The Carpenters, The Beatles, Sting and the legendary jazz greats.
In her college years, while singing with leading general business bands, ZOLA wrote and performed “First Dance” wedding songs for herself and a few close friends. She then moved on to voiceovers, commercials, contract work for hire, songs for film, and privately commissioned songwriting projects.
Today, in between her Creative Arts teaching program and entertaining young children, ZOLA continues to write, record and perform – all with equal passion and love.
Primary Live performances
- Scullers Jazz Club (Boston – USA )
- Baxter Theatre (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Artscape (Cape Town, South Africa)
Music education, career & membership
ZOLA’s formal musical education began with a few piano lessons and the graduation from a ten-year program with the Gertrude Haas Performance School of Music (South Africa). Songwriting began in her teens and ZOLA did voice-overs, wrote and performed jingles at the South African Broadcasting Company and by age 18, had had a number of her songs signed to Segal Publications Publishing House. In 1981, she opened her own Creative Arts School and began teaching, performance coaching, writing and directing children’s musical theatre and entertaining at special events. ZOLA graduated from University of Cape Town (South Africa) with a Bachelor of Arts Degree that included majoring in Psychology – with a focus on Child Development.
ZOLA moved to USA in 1986 where her commercial work and performances continued. Further music education includes completing various credited Songwriting and Performance Courses at Berklee College of Music and the Cambridge Centre for Adult Education (Boston, MA), and attending private consultations, workshops and tuition by Grammy Hit songwriters and USA music industry professionals and award winning music biz authors.
- Recipient of over a dozen Billboard® Songwriting awards.
- Member of BMI, SGA (Songwriting Guild of America), BACA (Boston Association of Cabaret Artists) and Jazzboston.
- Showcase Director for The Boston Songwriters Workshop.
- Host and Co-writer of PLAYSHOPS, a children’s video series developed by Magic Books Video.
- Amongst her other commissioned works, Zola’s original songs and vocals are also featured in “The Dancing Pumpkin”, a Children’s DVD/Film released by Hollywood’s Silver Hammer Studios.
ZOLA made her debut as a jazz artist at Boston’s renowned Scullers Jazz Club, where she released her jazz-pop album “HERE WITH YOU“, recorded at Dreamworld Productions studio, featuring some of Boston’s finest jazz musicians. Zola has released a number of other original music albums, including music for children, and is also featured on numerous compilation albums.
Music for children
Besides her love of music, dogs, sunshine, mountains & ocean (scenery from childhood) ZOLA also adores children. Since the age of eighteen, ZOLA has been working with children (in between writing and performing). She writes, produces and directs children’s musicals and teaches music and drama classes in creative arts programs. ZOLA also entertains at children’s parties, bar-mitzvah’s and fund-raisers and was named “one of the best” entertainers by the Boston Parents Paper. She has written, arranged, recorded and licensed music for children’s film and has released a number of albums featuring her original children’s songs under the Jollypop Productions Label. Visit www.zolasongs.com for more info!