Literary Arts; Multi Arts; Performing Arts: Music; Visual Arts: Mixed Media, Performance Art, Performers and Writers; term
The Troubadour of Peace.
“We should manifest ourselves in exquisiteness every chance we get,” Zach professes his life’s philosophy on his latest release, The Antidote, his 15th release is as many years.
This mantra is not only something Zach sings, but something he lives. In 2010, he started the Akron Peace Project, an organization working to educate and inspire nonviolence in the community. This project works with numerous organizations to increase compassion and peace in our daily lives. Recently named “Performer of the Year”, “Humanitarian of the Year” by Akron Life Magazine, he is also a yogi, Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, and a World Peace Diet Facilitator.
Yet, perhaps his most powerful impact is through his music. “Music is so powerful. It can touch a soul at such a level as nothing else can,” Zach says. Lending his music to compassionate causes and events, he performs across the US nearly 200 dates annually for everything from yoga classes and veggie and peace fests, to house concerts and music festivals.
His latest release, The Antidote, reflects his vocation and passion for creating a better world. He hopes it can “inspire people to their highest goodness, to encourage us all to manifest this goodness in some way in our lives.” This idea echoes in “Ignite the Soul,” when he sings, “Give, give, the gifts you give. Ignite the soul.” With themes of believing in our own power for kindness (Manifest), peace building (Peace By Piece), social politics (Ohio Breaking), and veganism (Plants), this record is a spiritual journey and social statement. One song takes on fracking (I Want a Future Too), which has been a winner in the Artists Against Fracking Video Contest, chosen by Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon; while songs like “Hymn” remind us that, “when the world comes to drag you down, light your smile, it keeps the darkness out.”
Also released this year, Provenance was a co-writing collaboration with 17 artists from 5 states. Released as duets, this project brought much of the northeast Ohio songwriter community together, with proceeds starting a fund to help area organizations create or expand nonviolence programs.
Zach has been performing music since 1999, touring the nation with over 215 performances yearly. He has released 16 CDs, using funds from these recordings to create a fund in Akron to help create nonviolence programming, and help plant trees in NE Ohio (the first several hundred trees in this program are being planted later this month). Since 2006, Zach has spearheaded “Evening for Chuck,” an event to raise awareness of the link between diet/lifestyle and cancer, as well as to honor and remember his father Chuck Freidhof, who passed of Pancreatic Cancer in 2006. In 2014, a group of friends with Zach start the Big Love Fest and Big Love Community to build comunity and placemaking skills and attidudes in the artistic and creative, healing, and artistic communities. Zach performs for many peace and food related events nationwide, and encourages a zero waste focus at many of his events.