Distinguished Alumni

“Tommy Z” (Zabielski), Class of 1989

A blues/rock artist, Tommy was voted Top Blues Vocalist in WNY 2003/2004/2006, Top Blues Guitarist 1993/1994/1995/1997/2004/2005/2006, Top Crossover/Blues Band 1994/2005/2006, Muddy Waters Award by WNY’s Blues Society (2004). Inducted into Buffalo’s Music Hall of Fame in 2007, he’s worked w/the world’s top blues/rock artists including: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, etc. touring w/Grammy-winner Pinetop Perkins.

Tommy has toured Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Japan, South Korea, Djibouti, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Turkey, Guam, Alaska, etc. on behalf of USO/AFE.

In 2004 he released “Universal Love” then composed for Film, TV, w/credits for the St. Louis Blues (NHL), Red Hot Chili Peppers Biography, Last Comic Standing, Swamp Wars, America’s Top Model, etc.

In 2013 the album “Sometimes” made airplay charts in the US, France & Australia, etc. In 2015 and 2019 the band was the international headliner for the Cali Blues & Folk Festival in Colombia for concerts/master classes. He was blues radio host on WBFO/88.7 from 2015-2022, then started WBLZ.

“Blizzard of Blues” (2016) debuted as #1 Blues Rock Album (RMR). It hit iTunes’ Top 10 Blues Chart then debuted on Billboard’s Top 10 Blues Chart.

In 2018 and 2019 the band played Buffalo’s Ball Drop to around 40,000 with widespread TV coverage. After a headliner in Denmark, Tommy went to Nashville in January 2020 to work w/Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge on “Plug In and Play” (2021). It was a #1 Blues/Rock album for airplay then Amazon’s #1 Hot New Release Seller (Electric Blues), #5 on Billboard’s Blues Chart and #5 on iTunes Blues chart plus B.B. King Bluesville’s Rack of Blues countdown for three weeks.

Tommy continues to teach, perform and write music.