ZAZU's Story

ZAZU Past and Present

ZAZU West is the newest Phoenix-area permutation of Gypsy Jazz band ZAZU, founded by bassist Steve Douglas and guitarist Lake Aurich as "Musette" in December of 2004. Shortly after forming, ZAZU added guitarist Larry Czarnecki and played in that trio lineup for many years, often adding violinist Allen Ames, who performed as a special guest and on ZAZU's first album recording, The Soul of Paris, a double CD released in July of 2009.

In 2014, guitarists Ryan Vance and Mike Fowler joined ZAZU, performing with Steve and special guests in and around Southern Arizona while Lake and Steve would continue to play Northern Arizona with Ryan and others. During this time special guests often included Allen, along with frequent appearances by clarinetist Jeff Quamo and violinist/trumpet player Devon Bridgewater.

In the summer of 2019, Steve relocated to the East Coast and ZAZU West was born with the idea of keeping the ZAZU tradition alive while leaving the door open for a ZAZU East once Steve recruits another Django army back East.

Since 2019, Vincent Thiefain has been a mainstay on bass and in 2021 vocalist Constance Genter began performing with ZAZU West, adding a wonderful new layer. Other players who have performed with ZAZU include Ryan Picone, Marc Lingle, Bailey Zick, Jeff Schalau, Brian Sanders, Ioannis Goudelis, Stephanie Groot, Vincent Ziegelbaum, and Mike Hall.


Django Reinhardt (of course), Stochelo Rosenberg/The Rosenberg Trio, Birelli LaGrene, John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden, Stephane Grappelli, Stephane Wremble, Joscho Stephan, Hot Club of San Francisco (Paul Mehling), Tchavalo Schmitt, Dorado Schmitt, Angelo Debarre, Adrien Moignard, Gonzalo Bergara, Wawau Adler, and Stefan Hall.

Noteworthy Events

Discovery Telescope Gala with Neil Armstrong as honored guest

MIM Theater performance 2021

Phoenix Unknown world music festival at The Van Buren, 2019

Numerous appearances at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) for the Experience France festival, most recently in 2022

Numerous appearances for Greater Phoenix Alliance Francais, most recently in 2022

Numerous performances at The Nash in Phoenix, 2014-2019

Live recording concert at The Nash, Phoenix, 2015

New Year's Eve Gumbo event at the Valley Bar, NYE 2017

Featured entertainment at Forest Highlands Golf Club 'Taste' events

Featured in Tlaquepaque Arts Village for ‘Lumenaria’ night and various First Friday events

Pickin’ in the Pines event for 3000 attendees

Phoenix Mayor’s International salute to Sister City Grenoble at The Van Buren, 2019

Featured at the Sedona Arts Festival, Sedona Wine Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, Sedona Jazz on the Rocks, Sedona Community Fair, numerous restaurants, hotels and clubs throughout northern Arizona

Venues Played since 2005

The Van Buren, Phoenix

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix

The Nash, Phoenix

The Century Room at Hotel Congress, Tucson

Westin Kierland, Scottsdale

Crescent Ballroom patio, Phoenix

Valley Bar, Phoenix

Sacred Grounds, Scottsdale

Heard Museum, Phoenix

Sedona Red Rocks Performing Arts Center

Forest Highland Golf Club, Flagstaff

Sedona Hilton and Spa

Tlaquepaque Arts Village, Sedona

Hyatt Pinon Pointe, Sedona

El Portal, Sedona

L’Auberge resort, Sedona

Seven Canyons, Sedona

Hillside Shops, Sedona

Dahl & DiLuca, Sedona

Cucina Rustica, Sedona

Mariposa, Sedona

Relics, Sedona

Ken’s Creekside, Sedona

Studio Live, Sedona, Hoppy Grape, Sedona

SoundBites, Sedona

St. Luke’s, (Sedona Jazz at the Church)

Raven, Prescott

High Mountain Conference Center, Flagstaff

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff

Arboretum, Flagstaff

Wine Loft, Flagstaff

NAU Library/Bookstore, Flagstaff

Pickin’ in the Pines Festival, Flagstaff

Coconino Center for the Arts, Flagstaff

Old Town Center for the Arts, Cottonwood

Kazimierz, Scottsdale

Friendship Village, Tempe

Maricopa Library System, Queen Creek and Fountain Hills

Gypsy Bar, Phoenix

Community Church on Main St., Payson

Pa'La, Phoenix