Becoming Human

Songs of Observation, Realization & Transformation

Vocalist/guitarist/percussionist Marji Zintz fronts Becoming Human, a newly formed trio (and sometimes quartet), which performs music composed by guitarist Jim Kunkel and bassist Mickey Kopchak. They explore and inhabit many genres across the musical spectrum, from folk to jazz, modal to avant-garde, spiritual to classical to Brazilian. They honor the space and each other’s unique and evolving “voice,” creating and holding a fertile ground for conversation, interplay, improvisation, and emotion. 

Marji brings a long and diverse performance resume, working in myriad settings since the 1970s as a vocalist and guitarist. She has performed in voice-double bass duets with such notable players as Mike Richmond, Jay Anderson, Josef Pelletier, and Vin Warner. She also worked in a progressive jazz-based ensemble that included Erik Lawrence on reeds and Jim Kunkel on guitar, often using her voice as one of the horns. She has worked in collaboration with improvisational vocalists Victoria Christgau and Shula Ruth Weinstein in a mostly a capella recording and performance project called Sister Sound, and has arranged, recorded, and performed with many other innovative musical projects over the years as well as performing extensively as a soloist. She teaches guitar and coaches voice and harmony in the Hudson Valley. 

Versatile guitarist Jim Kunkel has composed music for independent films and documentaries such as the Aspects of the Arts series profiling poet Dan Masterson and artist Frederick Franck. As leader and sideman, he has performed and recorded since the late seventies, including a quintet that performed many of how own innovative compositions. Jim has a lengthy list of musicians who have studied with him over the years, many of whom have gone on to enjoy a successful music career. 

Mickey has been playing bass professionally since the age of 10. Known not only for his sensitivity and presence, Mickey expands the sonic assignment of the bass by tastefully and creatively employing a multitude of interesting effects, creating rich and expansive soundscapes, as well as reaching emotional depths. Because of his versatility, expertise, and dedication to excellence, he is widely sought after and has performed and recorded with jazz and pop artists throughout the northeast. 

Percussionist Larry Balestra rounds out the ensemble, bringing his reputation for world-class musicality to this project.

World-class composer/musician/vocalist/producer EC Lorick joins the ensemble.  EC is an extremely gifted, insightful, captivating songwriter and performer. It is difficult to pinpoint the one thing that makes him so magnificent. There are so many facets to this gem:

His voice is just beautiful. Smokey, understated, passionate, expressive, soothing. One could listen to him sing endlessly and never tire of hearing him.

It doesn't matter if he's performing a composition of his own (see below) or someone else's composition: At the risk of sounding cliché, EC makes everything he sings his own. His interpretations are flawless and original and compelling. His versions are definitive.

His musicianship is world-class. He plays the guitar, the bass, and the harmonica like no one else. Effortlessly, beautifully, dynamically.

His writing is more than world-class. He is a storyteller for the ages, and offers compelling and honest perspectives about his chosen subjects, never insulting our intelligence, never resorting to hyperbole. No matter what story he's telling, he delivers it straight to your heart, where it stays indelibly, touching every part of you. He conveys a truth that is undeniable and makes it personal and urgent.

And, he is a productionist. All that he brings to his own music, he brings to others' music, too, using his studio, littleGIANT, in Woodstock, New York, to bring out the very best in others' work.

I have played with EC Lorick for years. And, I am picky and a stickler when it comes to musical precision, tonality, harmony and passion. EC is a world-class composer, musician, vocalist, and producer, and I really cannot get over that I know him. (written by Marji) 

Melodic and chaotic, carried to other realms of thought and sound. Lyrically strong, vocally enchanted, musically captivated. I will do my best to see Becoming Human again as soon as I can. Thank you for a wonderful musical experience.”

— Ralph C. (a listener)

If Flora Purim and Pat Matheny had a baby, this is what it would sound like.”

— Fran P. (a listener)

Holy shit!”

— Sharon K. (a listener)

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