Atlanta artist Vince Zangaro cannot help but mix his music and love of it with personal missions. Zangaro is passionate about the part music can play as a leveler and healer and how it helps communicate complex social issues and situations to those willing to listen.
“It truly amazes me what the gift of song can give to others if you just give listeners your honesty and heart.” says Zangaro, of his evolving music path. “I take care of my father. He has Alzheimer’s. And as his disease has progressed, so have I. I’ve made inroads into being a better writer, musician and man. I’m finally becoming proud of the music that I create because it affects people in profound ways. It can actually affect change for the better.”
Zangaro admittedly didn’t start out playing music to touch hearts and influence thoughts. “I started taking piano and keyboard lessons in 5th grade from renowned musician Peggy Still. Theory was not my strong suit, and she saw almost instantaneously that writing was my gift.” Zangaro laughs as he continues.“ But for me, at seventeen, it was just a way to be popular with girls and do all the other things musicians can get away with just because they’re musicians!” Zangaro’s high school band, This and That, were local scene favorites in the mid 90s and routinely co-headlined clubs like The Roxy, The Masquerade and Cotton Club. After the band broke up, Zangaro picked up an acoustic guitar and taught himself to play.
“I wanted to always be able to move forward, even if the people I was playing with lacked the motivation to progress.” he says.
Zangaro moved from being a rocker to the corporate rock world as a regional manager for the mega brand Hot Topic.
“My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 63. Three years ago, at 68, it became apparent he could no longer care for himself. Vince Zangaro has been caring for him ever since. Two years ago Amy, Vince’s fiancée, moved in and joined the cause. It’s been a huge adjustment, but it’s also allowed me to flex my creativity with other Atlanta writers and develop a mission to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, addiction and other issues that have touched me through my life.”
Jason Salzman and Blue Blanket Studios have been instrumental in Zangaro’s musical development as has the incomparable Lefty Williams from The Lefty Williams Band. “Matthew Trautwein from Bill Gentry and Anne-Marie Perry from Green Bracelet have also been an incredible inspiration and help.”
Zangaro’s music has been likened to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dave Matthews Band. But his most stunning comparison is to Smashing Pumpkins front man, Billy Corgan. Zangaro’s voice carries the same is arresting, moody quality and brims with the emotion his original songs are laced with.
Zangaro is planning a concert event to help those dealing with caring for relatives affected with Alzheimer’s at home. “It’s a devastating illness. Our Alzheimer’s Music Fest will be a way for people to come hear some great music and support a meaningful cause.”
“My dad’s disease has affected me a great deal over the past three years.” admits Zangaro. “ I am happy to say that through this experience a lot of nonsense and selfishness has washed away, and sometimes I feel I have learned more from my father through his disease than his health. It is a constant struggle, but on most days he brings me and Amy more happiness than many will see in their lifetime. On April 1st, he will turn 71 years old, and I am very proud of the man he was and is. Hopefully my music will be way to raise awareness of how many of us are going through this. We’re all very committed to giving our loved ones a happy lifestyle for many years to come.