Allan Zavod's Collaborations with Sir Richard Branson, Dr Alan Finkel, Dr Charles Billich, Diana Doherty, Slava Grigory, Nigel Kenedy, Eric Clapton, James Morrison, Maynard Ferguson, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Frank Zappa. Sketch by Dr Charles Billich

home >> about allan >> IN COLLABORATION WITH..

Environmental Symphony: A Journey through the Ages into the Future, What better way to deliver environmental awareness, then through the arts, through an adventure.SIR RICHARD BRANSON, DR ALAN FINKEL:

(2010) - Banksia Awards Presentation Night

"Environmental Symphony:"
Sir Richard Branson - Narrator; Dr Alan Finkel - Writer; Dr. Allan Zavod - Composer

An Inspirational Live Event, A cinematic Composition for Live Orchestra including Narrator and Synchronised visuals. The descriptive work in 5 movements was the centre piece for the Prime Minister's prestigious Banksia Environmental Awards - a sample of the work was performed for the very first time at Sydney Town Hall on the 15th October 2010.

Composed by: Dr. Allan Zavod (Composer / Performer); Words written by: Dr Alan Finkel (Australia's Chief Scientist / Philanthropist); Narration by: Sir Richard Branson (Entrepreneur / Philanthropist); Featured Visuals by: Ross McNair.

"Dr. Alan Finkel and I got together, and we decided we should do something together. It really all started in a restaurant. We were talking about that we should do something about the environment. Then Alan just came out with 'Carbon Dioxide, Methane on Mass, Billions of Bacteria, Making Oxygen Gas.' Well, you can imagine what this does to me as a musician! What better way to deliver environmental winds than through the Arts, through an adventure."



Read Full Details on the Environmental Symphony
View the Promo and Trailer videos


The Environmental Symphony was performed in full for the first time on SUNDAY 20 DECEMBER, 2015. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performed this landmark concert at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne.

Since it's first full performance in 2015, this unique cinematic composition has been performed around the world with the narration spoken in the country's own language.

ABC Music CD Release:-

The programmatic work melds classical and jazz principles, with a story spanning the Earth's formation nearly five billion years ago to several hundred years into the future. Released on World Environment Day (5 June), the recording features the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Benjamin Northey.
View ABC Music CD Review

Composer Dr Allan Zavod collaborate with Artists Dr Charles Billich to create a painting made especially to raise funds for the foundationDR CHARLES BILLICH:

(2011) - Banksia Awards Presentation Night

"Inside the Masterminds"
Dr Charles Billich - Artist; Dr. Allan Zavod - Pianist, Composer

A custom performance piece saw internationally renowned pianist and composer Dr Allan Zavod collaborate with multi-award winning artist Dr Charles Billich to create a painting made especially to raise funds for the foundation.

Together they designed 'Inside the Masterminds' a creative collaboration which saw Zavod play his original piece 'Flying Willow' whilst Billich painted the final strokes on 'eco-topia', a 2m x 2m painting specifically created for the Banksia Environmental Foundation. Together they demonstrated the power art holds in expressing emotions and telling a story. 'eco-topia' is now on a national tour to raise awareness for the awards program.


View News clip of the event banksia awards presentation - the environmental event of the year

Concerto for Oboe: Resilient Spirit.  Written for Diana Doherty and dedicated to the resilience of the People of Queensland during the 2011 floods.DIANA DOHERTY


"Concerto for Oboe" - Resilient Spirit
Diana Doherty - Oboe; Dr. Allan Zavod - Composer

Allan Zavod wrote "Resilient Spirit", an Oboe Concerto, for World Famous Oboe Soloist Diana Doherty. Diana performed with the Queensland Youth Symphony on 26th March, 2011.

Most appropriate then that it was this great Queensland musician, herself once a member of Queensland Youth Orchestras, who performed the work written specially for her and the QYS.

The Concert took place at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, and was conducted by John Curro (AM MBE). This substantial piece, was a new commission from QYS and was dedicated to the resilience of the People of Queensland during the 2011 floods.


View some video from the Oboe Concerto Performance Queensland Youth Symphony

Allan & Nigel Improv Jamming with Nigel for two free concerts - in Melbourne & SydneyNIGEL KENNEDY


Abbotsford Convent (Melbourne: 12 Feb) & The Basement (Sydney: 1 Mar)
Nigel Kennedy - Electric Violin; Dr. Allan Zavod - Piano

Allan Zavod & Nigel Kennedy performed two free concerts, just improv jamming together - in Melbourne & Sydney

"It was whispered that Nigel Kennedy would be performing in a free 'Semi Secret Super-Jam' at The Abbotsford Convent (Melbourne) on the Friday evening (12 Feb, 2010), straight after his second Hamer Hall performance. Now such rumours are normally just rumours and rarely come to fruition, however not in this case. And so true to his word at about 12:45am, Nigel Kennedy once again appeared on stage, this time however the stage was tiny, the equipment basic, and the crowd less than 200 people. Joined by his long time friend Allan Zavod (he of Frank Zappa's 1984 lineup), drummer Danny Ferugia, bassist Jeremy Alsop and saxophonist Julien Wilson, they blew the roof off the venue. It should have and would have gone on all night had licensing laws not dictated otherwise. It was a truly spectacular night that I will never forget."


"When violinist Nigel Kennedy and pianist Allan Zavod had a late-night jam at the Abbotsford Convent last month, the plug was pulled due to those pesky licensing laws and residential restrictions. There was no silent night when the duo put on another free gig for a packed house at the Basement in Sydney (1 Mar, 2010), the night turning into day when they stopped at 3am."



Zavod's improv piano solo from 'The Basement' Concert Review of Abbotsford Convent Gig Review of The Basement Gig

Allan Zavod together with world renowned guitarist Slava Grigoryan and principal cellist with the MSO, David BerlinSLAVA GRIGORYAN


"Urban Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra"
Slava Grigoryan - Guitar; Allan Zavod - Composer

The SBS Youth Orchestra opens its 2010 season with the world premiere performance of "Urban Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra" by Australian Composer Allan Zavod performed by the brilliant guitarist Slava Grigoryan - at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta (western suburbs of Sydney).


"The Australian Concert Trio"
Slava Grigoryan - Guitar; David Berlin - Cello; Dr. Allan Zavod - Piano, Composer

Zavod Berlin Grigoryan CD: The Australian Concert Trio. Jazz /Classical virtuoso pianist/composer Allan Zavod together with world renowned guitarist Slava Grigoryan and principal cellist with the MSO, David Berlin, wrote and recorded an engaging and challenging album of original classical/jazz fusion music by Allan Zavod.

Note: The last song on the CD: "Christine Mon Amour" was written by Allan for his wife Christine.


Listen to selected excerpts of Zavod's Classical Jazz Fusion Works - including the Urban Concerto with Slava Grigoryan (guitar concerto begins at 7:47 min mark) Announcement of Concerto

Allan Zavod, David Berlin, and Slava Grigoryan (ZBG) with Sting on his Australian TourSTING


Zavod, Berlin, Grigoryan (ZBG)
Slava Grigoryan - Guitar; David Berlin - Cello; Dr. Allan Zavod - Piano, Composer

Allan Zavod performed original compositions for Sting's "Songs From The Labyrinth" Australian Tour in November/December 2008. Zavod, Berlin, Grigoryan (ZBG) opened for this world renowned artist nationally. (ZBG's "The Australian Concert Trio" CD even out-sold Sting's CD's at the Sydney Opera House.)

"Wonderful, lyrical music, like a falling Mountain Stream"

- STING (about "The Calm and The Storm ~ original Zavod composition) -

"ZBG takes its name from the surnames of its three members: Allan Zavod, David Berlin and Slava Grigoryan. All three musicians are respected in their own right and their highly original music encompasses the diverse backgrounds of these three musicians, resulting in inimitable 'soundscapes' of classical/jazz fusion. The music is uplifting and emotive, consisting of dazzling technical feats, moments of pure melodic and harmonic beauty, which result from perfectly coordinated dynamics within the ensemble, underpinned by strict classical discipline contrasting with totally free jazz rhythms and improvisations."


"Slava Grigoryan, David Berlin and Allan Zavod were the support act, playing evocative impressionist-style compositions arranged for guitar, cello and piano. All-in-all, it was a memorable and marvellous concert."


LINKS:- Tour Details Announcing gig at Sydney Opera House Announcing tour Announcing tour Concert Review at Sydney Opera House

Learn from the BestJAMES MORRISON:

(1997 Adelaide, 2001 Sydney, 2002 Munich)

"Concerto for Trumpet, Jazz Trio and Orchestra"
James Morrison - Trumpet; Allan Zavod - Piano, Composer


With the increasing popularity of jazz as an art form, the fusion of jazz and classical music offers a relatively new platform for composers. This concerto challenges James Morrison to employ both his disciplined classical virtuosity and rich jazz experience within one major work.

The Concerto opens peacefully with a prelude that pre-empts the main theme (muted trumpet immersed in a lush but transparent setting).

It is transformed into a rollicking new theme featuring a boisterous tutti. For a brief moment, the now-Jazz Quartet creates an intimate "Club" atmosphere with a new swing theme, before the orchestra joins in for a development section. The soloist then leads the brass into improvisatory style patterns punctuated by rapid passages from the other instrumental groups.

The "Club" atmosphere returns as piano, then trumpet, perform extensive improvisations. The orchestra recapitulates in full regalia, resolving into a more serene transition to prepare us for a return of the main theme.

This time however, the trumpet states the theme with more definition while the rhythm section (piano, bass and drums) creates a new feel - slightly Latin in nature.

LINKS:- Listen to the Trumpet Concerto (first 12 min)
James Morrison Interview by Allan Zavod.. includes Morrison's thoughts on his "The European Sessions" album, and about the trumpet concerto
James Morrison Interview by Allan Zavod.. his musical roots and offer some valuable advice for young musicians
James Morrison Website
Note: The "Concerto for Trumpet, Jazz Trio and Orchestra" can be found on the "The art of James Morrison" CD album.


Wednesday 9 May, 2001 at 6.30PM
Thursday 10 May, 2001 at 6.30PM
Broadcasted across Australia on ABC Classic FM




Concerto for Trumpet, Jazz Trio and Orchestra



Century Rolls for Piano and Orchestra
(First Australian performance)


An American in Paris

Peter McCoppin - Conductor
James Morrison - Trumpet
Peter Waters - Piano
Featuring special guest Allan Zavod
Jonathan Zwartz - Double Bass
David Jones - Percussion
Allan Zavod - Piano


"Thank you ABC Classic FM for the most exciting Friday night broadcast of the unusual Sydney Symphony Orchestra's concert from the Opera House. Different, in that it featured an innovative program of classical/jazz fusion works. I loved Ellington's "Harlem" and George Gershwin's "American in Paris" but for me the Adam's "Piano Concerto" was too long and somewhat over my head. However the jewel in the crown was Allan Zavod's "Trumpet Concerto for jazz trio and orchestra" with that master trumpeter James Morrison as soloist. I found myself applauding in my living room; the piece was full of such energy and rhythm with just enough soft moments to satisfy the soul. Bravo, ABC."


Allan Zavod worked with famed guitarist Eric Clapton on the music soundtrack for the US Movie 'Communion'ERIC CLAPTON


Eric Clapton - Opening Theme; Dr. Allan Zavod - Film Score

Allan Zavod worked with famed guitarist Eric Clapton on the music soundtrack for the US Movie 'Communion'.

Communion is drama/thriller film based on the book of the same name by Whitley Strieber. Starring Christopher Walken and Frances Sternhagen, it tells a story of a family that experiences an extraterrestrial phenomenon while on vacation at a remote home in the wilderness during which the father is abducted and all of their lives change.


Listen to the "Communion" Soundtrack Main Theme
Listen to Allan Zavod's Film Scores with original compositions (The Communion clip begins at 0:26 sec mark) Film info

Learn from the BestFRANK ZAPPA

(July - Dec 1984 World Tours)

Allan Zavod on tour in 1984 with (left-right) Ray White, Scott Thunes, Robert (Bobby) Martin, Frank Zappa, Ike Willia, Chad Wackerman, & Napoleon Murphy-Brock
Allan Zavod, Ray White, Scott Thunes, Robert (Bobby) Martin, Frank Zappa, Ike Willia, Chad Wackerman & Napoleon Murphy-Brock


A Tribute to Frank Zappa by Allan Zavod in the Rolling Stone Magazine
From Zappa to A-List

1984 Frank Zappa: The Palace Theater, Los Angeles
    (unpublished live concert)
1984 Does Humor Belong in Music?   (Live)
1984 Frank Zappa: Kreega Bondola   (live)
1984 Frank Zappa: Fits Your 34B, No Matter Which 43B You Are   (live)
1984 Frank Zappa: Stony Brook, NY   (live)
1984 Frank Zappa: Let's Move To Cleveland, San Antonio, Texas   (live)

1984 Does Humor Belong in Music?
1987 The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa (A Solo From Atlanta)
1988 Guitar
1988 You Can't Do That on Stage (Sampler)
1988 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 1
1989 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 3
1991 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 4
1992 You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, vol. 6
1997 Have I Offended Someone?
2006 Trance-Fusion

Learn from the BestJEAN-LUC PONTY

(1975 - 1982: 3 world tours, 4 plat. Albums)

Jamie Glazer, Larry Berk, Jean Luc Ponty, Allan Zavod
       Jamie Glazer, Larry Berk, Jean Luc Ponty, Allan Zavod


DEC 20, 1978

"Zavod's solo on the Steinway was purely inspiring - mellow, jazz piano at its finest.

Ponty is a master with electronic effects, so is his keyboardist Allan Zavod, an Australian who is highly adept with all the latest synthesiser hardware."

1975 Le Voyage: The Jean-Luc Ponty Anthology [compilation] (Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Clavinet)
1976 Jean-luc Ponty Live (Keyboards, Piano)   (on stage)
1976 Imaginary Voyage (Keyboards, Piano)
1977 Enigmatic Ocean (organ, keyboards, synthesizer, electric piano, grand piano, clavinet)
  Parts I-IV   Nostalgic Lady   ..Turtle..Sea - Part I
1978 Cosmic Messenger (Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Electric Piano)
1979 A Taste for Passion (Keyboards, Synthesizer)
1979 Live (Keyboards, Organ, Electric Piano, Synthesizer, Synthesizer Bass)
1980 Civilized Evil (keyboards)
1982 Live at 1982 Montreal Jazz Festival (keyboards)   Jig   Mirage
1982 Mystical Adventures [live performance only] (Keyboards)   Part 1&2
1982 The That Whereby the Movement Begins [2002 compilation] (Keyboards)
1975-1985 The Very Best of Jean-Luc Ponty [2000 compilation] (Clavinet, Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizer)

Learn from the BestMAYNARD FERGUSON

(1974 World Tour)

Allan Zavod in 1974 with Maynard Ferguson

Allan Zavod in 1974 with Maynard Ferguson

Allan Zavod in 1974 with Maynard Ferguson

1974 Ferguson, Maynard- Chameleon
(Piano, Electric Piano)  

Extracted from the book
MF Horn - Maynard Ferguson's Life In Music
By Dr William F Lee III

Allan has provided insight into his time with Maynard:

"Maynard has been one of the most important influences on me, not only as a musician, but in my attitude and approaches to one's life journey. It was 1974. I was teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston when I was asked to sub for Maynard's new keyboard player who was on his way from England to join the band. It was to be a week of rehearsals and three gigs. Three days and I was in love; in love with Maynard, the organization, the band, and especially animal drummer Dan D'Imperio and Rick Petrone, bassist from hell! Maynard brought out the animal in all of us. This was too much fun and during that week I threw Maynard my best boyish grins in the hope that he would keep me on. A week turned into a year.

It was always fun playing with Maynard. From day one his brief to the band was, 'If you make any mistakes I'm going to just laugh and you guys had better make light of it too. I want good vibes on stage.' With a relaxed attitude such as that we rarely made mistakes and when we did the whole band made them together. I can remember on more than one occasion when the entire ensemble skipped a beat."

Click to read more excerpts about Maynard.


Maynard Ferguson Live: At The Top; Plaza Hotel - MacArthur Park, Rochester, NY (1974)  
Maynard Ferguson: 'Gospel John' -From the Mark of Jazz TV show, Philadelphia (1974). Zavad piano intro.  

"La Fiesta" with Maynard Ferguson Band ~Audio only (first couple minutes)


Additional / Earlier Collaborations:

Jammed with George BensonGeorge Benson

In Hawaii, Zavod performed with George Benson in 1979, and again spent a great week jamming with George in 2001. Benson maintains that Zavod is one of his favourite musicians.

"We love to jam together. First we introduce the song, then we show what we can do with it. Improvisation is the key, making the most of the moment, but it takes discipline to be a classical musician. That's what impresses me about him. Most jazz musicians don't have that kind of discipline. Allan's chops [technique] is exceptional."



Allan Zavod's interview with George Benson

performed, directed, produced and conducted for Judith DurhamJudith Durham

1992 Judith Durham (formally of "Seekers", "Australia Land of Today" at M.C.G - Final World Cup Cricket - before 100,000 people [Conductor]
1993 "Let me Find Love" Judith Durham [Co-Producer, Music Director, Arranger]
2001 Launch of Judith Durham's "Australia Land of Today" [Producer, Music Director, Arranger]
2003 Hold on to your Dream' Judith Durham [Piano, Arranger, Conductor, Keyboards, Producer]

composed and performed for Kate CeberanoKate Ceberano

1988 Wrote four arrangements for Kate Ceberano to perform at the Melbourne Concert Hall - Next Wave Festival: Big Hot Jazz.
1988 Kate Ceberano also performed with Allan at the Summer Pops with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
1987 Allan Zavod's song 'Time Can't Keep Us Apart' (co-written with Frank Howson [lyrics]) won the 1987 Asian Popular Song contest (Malaysia Winner, Representing Australia). Performed by Kate Ceberano, it was viewed by an estimated audience of 500 million.


Allan Zavod and Catherine Ceberano winners of the ABU Popular Song Contest

Robin Williams & Allan Zavod improvising together over a piano at the celebrated LA Comedy StoreRobin Williams

Allan and comedian Robin Williams shared many nights improvising together over a piano at Zavod's Bel Air home and at the celebrated LA Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd - where they took part in an unusual stand up/sit down comedy show during which Zavod improvised at the piano while Williams riffed to the music.

Performed for 'Fiddler On The Roof' star TopolTopol

1999 Performed for "Fiddler On The Roof" star Topol


Allan Zavod and friend Topol visit Jewish Museum together
Allan Zavod's interview with Topol

Performed for Marina PriorMarina Prior

1999 Performed with Marina Prior at the Australian Post's "Face of Australia" Presentation Ceremony


Allan Zavod's thank you letter from Australia Post

big band pianist for Herbie HancockDizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Doc Severinson, Oscar Peterson, Don Ellis, Charlie Mariano, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Orchestra

early 1970s big band pianist

big band pianist for Billy CobhamBilly Cobham

1976 Recorded with the Billy Cobham Band "Life & Times album"

big band pianist for Woody HermanWoody Herman

1975 Woody Herman Orchestra [world tour] (lead by Cab Calloway)

pianist for Mike Gibbs & Gary BurtonMike Gibbs & Gary Burton

1974 "In The Public Interest" album (Piano & Electric Piano)

big band pianist for Cab CallowayCab Calloway

1973 "Cab Calloway, Bermuda" - Music Director

big band pianist for the Glenn Miller OrchestraGlenn Miller Orchestra

1972 Glenn Miller Orchestra [world tour], Conducted by Buddy De Franco

big band pianist for Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington

1969 Discovered and Mentored by Duke Ellington, when he performed for him in Melbourne. Duke was so impressed by his talent, he helped Zavod get to America so he could study Jazz at Boston's Berklee School of Music

[ Home | About Allan | Competition Awards | Zav Shop | Multimedia | In Print | Photos | Links | Contact | Site Map ]