Zach Heckendorf

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About Zach Heckendorf

A singer/songwriter whose music blends the thoughtful and the funky, Zach Heckendorf writes songs that have a soulful feel, mixing his love of groove-friendly acoustic artists, classic folk-pop songwriters of the '70s, and mindful hip-hop. His tunes are matched to lyrics that explore life and relationships in a manner that's often witty, and always sincere and philosophical without becoming pretentious. A prodigy who released his debut album while he was still in high school, Heckendorf first attracted national attention with 2014's Speed Checked by Aircraft and further refined his style in 2017's Artifacts. Zach Heckendorf grew up in Denver, Colorado, and took up music early in life. He began playing guitar when he was ten years old, and he was a fourth grader when he wrote his first song, a ditty about the Great Depression. He moved up to playing in rock bands with his friends, influenced by pop-punk groups like Green Day and Blink-182. By the time he was 16, he was a seasoned musician, gigging both solo and with a band, and had developed a funk-infused acoustic guitar style informed by Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson; that year, he recorded and released his debut EP. At 17, he had acquired a manager, Gregg Latterman (who had worked with Five for Fighting, Train, and John Mayer), and was opening shows for the John Butler Trio and Tea Leaf Green. He also released a full-length album during his senior year, 2011's The Cool Down. Latterman ran the Aware Records label, and signed Heckendorf to the company in tandem with their distributor, Republic Records. Heckendorf started work on an album for Republic, but creative differences led to him cutting ties with the label before the project was completed. Undaunted, he raised the funds to complete the recordings through a crowdfunding campaign, and he self-released the completed LP, Speed Checked by Aircraft, in 2014. Supported by frequent touring, the album became an indie success, with the track "The Garden" being streamed more than a million times. He issued an EP, Up, in 2016, and his third full album, Artifacts, arrived in 2017. In 2020, Heckendorf released two songs, "Stronger Than I Once Was" and "Take to the Floor," in anticipation of his fourth album, which he intended to bring out midyear. The COVID-19 pandemic led to him postponing the release, but eager to keep performing even if live concerts were out of the question, he launched the "50 States Livestream Tour," a series of live shows streamed live from his home that were presented in association with venues and business from all across the United States. ~ Mark Deming

Denver, CO, United States

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