Jen Zava's Solo Project ``Power To Change`` Debuts

“I am finally, and for the first time, focusing on my own artistic work. I’ve contributed to many bands through the years, but never put true effort into promoting my own music. I am proud of this project and know that I am where I am supposed to be. I intend to make music until the day I die, and feel that everyone has their own path in life. I just want to enjoy my life and share my voice and my music. I’ve saved and recorded song by song over years. It’s truly been a labor of love. And all the subsequent ones will be too. I’m at my best when I’m singing. I want to share my best with people.”

In 2001, Jen Zava  packed her bags and left a small town in South Georgia for the “live music capitol of the world,” Austin, Texas, and started performing with many well-known bands, such as Doctari, Rotel and the Hot Tomatoes, Monster Big Band, Magnificent 7, The Grooves, and The Pictures.

She’s actually been singing since the tender age of three.  “I was born a singer…my mom and dad sang in church choir, my Grandad was a music minister and preacher and I loved to hear him sing,” Zava says. “He inspired me.

The move proved invaluable, as not only has she toured all over the country but working with  one of the top ten party bands in the United States (named by Harper’s Bazaar magazine) has led to singing at  the Presidential Dinner in Washington D.C. and halftime shows at the San Antonio Spurs games.

Power to Change was produced by David Messier, currently the President of the Texas Chapter of The Recording Academy and owner of Same Sky Productions.  “Power to Change is a full length album I’ve recorded over the past five years, with songs written during the course of the last 20 years of my life,” she says.

Jen says that she ordinarily likes to leave a song open but the title of the album is self-explanatory –  feel what you need to feel, but you have the power to change internally the things you aren’t satisfied with, just recognize how you perceive things.

There are eleven songs in the debut, including a song called “I Luv You,” voiced by her daughter Rowan Zavaleta when she was about 8 years old, recorded on a cell phone and sent to Jen by text.

Production, engineering and mixing for “Power to Change” was done by David Messier and Andre Cantave at Same Sky Productions with mastering done by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Mastering. Jen Zava was the key songwriter and vocalist on the record, accompanied by Rowan Zavaleta, Candace Lynette Sanders, Andre Cantave and David Messier on vocals. Andre Cantave, Utah Hamrick and Chris Maresh played bass on the project, and in addition to Zava herself, Chris Zavaleta and Andre Cantave played guitar, Lee Simmons played banjo and mandolin, Steve Bernal played cello, Kevin Flatt played trumpet, Steven Vague played bari sax, and David Messier played organ, keys, drums and percussion.

The tracks include:

  • Power to Change
  • Heartbeat
  • I Luv You
  • Better Off Not Said
  • I Can’t Hear You
  • Toss and Turn
  • Mountain
  • Is This Woman
  • Landing and Flying
  • Spent All My Money
  • Next to You

Jen Zava Website


Photography by Bridget Daehler


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