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Training the spotlight on Zion Jeng’s evolving musical identity

Zion Jeng uses the keyboard to impart pieces of his own personal and musical identity.

By Jon Stojan

Zion Jeng

Keyboards, encompassing a wide range of instruments like pianos, synthesisers, and digital workstations, play a crucial role in shaping the soul of a musical composition. Their versatility allows them to fulfill diverse roles within a song, contributing significantly to its melody, harmony, rhythm, and texture.

They can carry the main theme of a piece, weaving captivating lines that capture the listener’s attention. From the playful whimsy of a piano solo to the soaring power of an organ melody, keyboards can express a vast array of emotions and guide the listener through the musical journey.

Beyond just melody, keyboards excel in creating rich harmonies. By layering various chords and progressions, they provide the foundation upon which the melody rests. This harmonic tapestry adds depth and complexity to the music, guiding the emotional flow and creating a sense of tension and release.

Los Angeles-based keyboardist, singer-songwriter and producer, Zion Jeng, knows the power behind the keyboard. He knows how to move his fingers lightly on the keys to create rhythm, melody, and flow that allows him to impart pieces of his personal and musical identity for audiences to remember.

Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Zion was introduced to a variety of musical genres under the counsel of his father. Jeng graduated from the Musicians Institute, College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, LA, with Certificates in Keyboard Performance and Electronic Music Production and is presently working as a freelance keyboardist in various artist projects and bands, like IZORA, Zana Messia, The Snifters, and more.

Many of his notable accomplishments as an artist were because of his expertise as a keyboardist. He performed alongside Henry Morris, formerly known as Playyard, and opened for The Walters. This 2024, however, Zion will be playing in the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2024.

“Playing at SXSW feels like a milestone for me. Getting this opportunity after graduating not more than a year has really gained my confidence of being a musician here in LA,” the Taiwanese singer-songwriter and producer said.

Moreover, Zion has had the opportunity to work with various artists like Darvishi, who is currently planning a tour for August. He also performed alongside Grace and Moji during their EP release show last February 24 of this year.

“The EP was released on February 9, this year. It’s more like indie pop, alternative music. I started playing with them on October 29, 2023 at the 3 Club in Hollywood. They hit me up by someone’s recommendation, and they sent me their EP. It was not released at that point, and I was just amazed by their music,” Zion shared.

In the meantime, Zion is also the keyboardist for Annalise Drake, a classically trained singer also from the Musicians Institute years before Zion.

He started playing the keyboard for Annalise on July 13, 2023, at The Mint, and again at Black Rabbit Rose on October 5, 2023. The pair also flew out to Indiana to play in a private event. Zion Jeng is presently producing Annalise’s next single, which will be out this March, where he will be playing the keyboard in the track.

This promising musician has been playing recurring shows at the legendary Whiskey-a-Go-Go, The Viper Room, The Black Rose and other notable LA venues like El Cid, Madame Siam and more. He is also working as a producer for a few artists and for his solo projects.

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