"Mean a thing it does not, if that swing it ain't got."
- Jazz Yoda, probably
About Zac Lassiter
Growing up in Graham NC, Zac has shown an interest in music since he was very young, receiving his first toy drum set at age 3 and begining piano lessons at age 8. Choosing drums and percussion as his starting instrument in middle school band, he quickly learned and showed interest in drum line and improving his ability. He also started his first band at this time, with two friends made in the band program who would come to practice in Zac's basement. Zac was then drum line captain/1st chair percussion for most of his high school career; he went above and beyond to receive Superior ratings in solo and ensemble competitions throughout the state, as well as participating in All-County Band. Zac began receiving private drum lessons from local session drummer and instructor Jeremy Thomas who taught Zac practical skill on the drum set, and how to keep up with his favorite recordings across the punk, rock, and metal genres. He started a metal band with friends and began to play in the public sector; as well as singing and acting with the high schools theatre and improv programs. He also taught himself to play guitar, and even began to teach his younger neighbor how to play guitar and piano. He received the John Philip Sousa Award for excellence in the band program. After graduating in 2012 he was accepted as a Music Education major into the percussion studio at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then directed by Dr. Kris Keeton. During this first year Zac began to show an interest in jazz and bettering his skills as a performer, and began practicing to audition for the UNCG Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program. He would spend his freshman and sophomore year however in the classical percussion studio, the latter year under interim professor Dr. Neeraj Mehta. Mehta showed Zac a more worldly approch to percussion via hand drums and latin music, and facilitated his jazz practice. He still was able to become a reliable player in the percussion ensembles, as well as the larger ensembles directed by the heads of the music department, Dr. John Locke and Dr. Kevin Giraldi. Zac was also taking jazz drum set lessons from professor Thomas Taylor, as well as cutting his teeth in the small jazz groups performing both in the school, and at local jam sessions in coffee houses, living rooms, bars and restaurants. He still had a passion for rock and punk and started a band with friends he made after joining the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and continued to play across the state. After passing his audition for the jazz program, he quickly immersed himself, practiced for hours a day, and found himself playing with some of the higher performing groups and ensembles in the school; still finding time to participate in classical performances with the new professor Dr. Eric Willie, playing punk gigs, church services, freelance jazz and drum set gigs for restaurants or weddings, even picking up the bass guitar to expand his musical horizons and employment opportunity. He still had a passion for education and found time to teach high school drum line and percussion sections during the summer, as well as giving clinics and performances at his former high school and elementary school. Now after graduating in spring 2017, Zac has found himself to be a staple in the live music community in Greensboro, having a reputation as being one of the most flexible and talented drummers in the area, playing with multiple active groups and capable of filling in for almost any genre. He was hired by Music And Arts that same year, and has now taught dozens of students across a wide range of skill level and student age over the past three years. Zac has found teaching here to be very joyful, and enjoys parting his knowledge to help others grow in their own passions and skills.