Zen Mountain Poets

ZMP bring words and music from our hearts to your ears. Our original sounds have been identified so far as Psychedelic Neo-Prog Folk Jazz.  Welcome to our website!

 

 

Welcome! Thanks for being here, now!

We are a gathering of musicians, poets, artists, dreamers, manifesters…dedicated to expressing heartfelt original songs that take our audiences on journeys.  We are located in San Luis Obispo county on California’s Central Coast.

About Us

We are

“Who’s here now” and “who hears now,” traveling across time and space to share our music, sometimes across the Central Coast of California, or across the country in our tour bus The Dragon, and sometimes through the inter-webs of life, wireless re-wiring, the live streaming of the band inspiring through what we have to add to the collective conversation.

Art by Chad Hoffman

Our music holds a unique sound and a moving power that enriches and contemplates life, bringing awareness to our reality living on this planet. We are fans of being alive in this marvelous universal ecosystem!

Our Story

The band in 2018

From the House of Blues in Hollywood in 2015……to Cambria, California in 2018…we’ve played over 100 shows in 7 states, produced 2 EPs and we’re working on a full-length album coming soon!

ZMP at House of Blues, Hollywood 2015

In Spring of 2014, circa San Luis Obispo, CA, Zen Mountain Poets evolved from a jam band that was comprised of various friends and players to a dedicated band with an amazing amount of talent and creativity. Our sound began to change from groove jams to more intricate synergistic styling as each member contributed their gifts to the overall sound and feel. We are all writers and new songs are always emerging and being cultivated; we co-create all of our arrangements.

Billy at Speak Studios in SLO 2015
Robyn playing the Rhodes at Speak Studios in SLO 2015

We are known for our unique musical stylings, vocal harmonies, and taking audiences on unforgettable auditory journeys.  As singer-songwriters, we call our music “psychedelic neo-prog folk jazz,” since people have likened the sound to Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, It’s a Beautiful Day, and the Grateful Dead.

Some fun at Puffers of Pismo, 2018

In our midst are engineers of sound, video, electricity, mechanics, carpentry, welding, and energy, a learner and “teacher” of music, showing up and adding our various skills to the mix (bus driving, carpentry, organizing, design, etc…).  Beyond our day jobs, our musical influences include: Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Tool, Pink Floyd, Heart, David Bowie, The Doors, Stevie Wonder, Collective Soul, Traffic, Miles Davis, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, musical theatre, and many more…we give thanks to those musicians who have explored the ways before us.

Photo: Abe Perlstein

The Dragon Awakens tour in 2016 wielded challenges (rain, snow, replacing parts, PAs in gardening carts…) and summoned joys (epic scenery, so many jams, the YEAHs, Jackson WellSprings, and of course showing up to rock out and feel the vibes growing thick at our shows!). Through the trials and finding the trails, we realized that we could come together with laughter, love, communication, and common senses to co-create this piece of our dream of bringing our music and an entertaining show to an ever-widening audience.

Setting off on The Dragon’s maiden voyage in 2016
Playing at the Analog Theater in Portland, OR

In November 2017, we headed East on The Dragon’s Red Dirt Tour, playing shows in Flagstaff (AZ), Gallup (NM), Amarillo and Houston (TX), Norman (OK), New Orleans (LA), and back home in Morro Bay (CA). The inspiration for the tour was to visit Billy’s daughter in Florida for Thanksgiving, where we played a heart warming house show!  We were thankful to have beautiful weather and driving conditions, and learned a lot about being on the road after traveling over 5,000 miles!

The crew on the Red Dirt Tour, 2017
At Checkpoint Charlie’s, New Orleans LA

Festivals we have performed at include Morro Bay Harbor Fest, Emerald Exchange, Central Coast Art and Music Festival, Big Sur Jade Fest, Good Vibe Tribe, and SLO Village Building Convergence.

ZMP at Morro Bay Harbor Fest, 2016

We are having an incredible time playing the music we are writing, and we love to perform for our growing fan base, SLOcally and touring in The Dragon (our 1954 Greyhound bus). New music is being written constantly and we are working on a new album which we look forward to releasing soon. Please enjoy listening to our live music and stay tuned to hear our studio works. Love you all and love to play.

Meet the Band

Members Here Now

Billy Clayton (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar)

Robyn Saxer (Vocals, Keyboards, Ukulele, French Horn, Accordion)

Anthony Roselli (Drums)

Chad Hoffman (Bass)

Mike Flactiff (Congas, Percussion)

You (You’re also in the band when we perform; every experience making music with and for people transforms what we do, as we follow the flow of the show…)

Members back zen

Matt Allie (Guitar)

Nathan Clay (Guitar)

Jeremy Lemen (Bass)

Luke Taylor (Guitar)

Matty Wilson (Guitar)

Amaris Laurette Taylor (Vocals, Violin, Guitar)

Adam McAlexander (Guitar, Mandolin)

Endang “Eru” Rukandi (Drums, Percussion, Flute)

Gerald Purify (Drums)

Katia Innis (Drums)

The band in 2018

 

The band in 2016

 

The band in 2017

 

The band in 2015

 

Billy Clayton

Billy is the wizard who has brought us all together.  His soulful, passionate lyrics are amplified through his baritone vocals, while his unique guitar style expresses a wide range of musical sounds and the threads of connection between all of us.  Not only are his original songs the foundation of our repertoire, but did you know he’s also an excellent sound engineer, bus driver, and mechanic?  A man of many talents, indeed, and many stories to tell.

Photo: Cory Bauer

Robyn Saxer

From the early days Robyn sat in with a ukulele and shaker and sang with the Poets at our first shows. Then one night she brought her keyboard to a rehearsal and began adding a whole new level to our sound. Her ability to accent the rhythms with counter rhythms, or paint the background with ethereal sounds, or step to the front with melodic solos, has expanded the rich sound that is ZMP.  Her voice is extraordinary and she can backup with harmonies or take the lead and soar. She constantly is expanding her abilities and adding them to everything we do.

Photo: Abe Perlstein

Anthony Roselli

Anthony brings sweet beats to dancing feet with his delightful drumming! A singer-songwriter and guitarist himself, he was on the lineup with us of the first “Folk n Soak” music festival at Franklin Hot Springs in 2016, and asked to play drums with us! We are so grateful for his intricate rhythms, skills (from stage tech to bus driving), and talents added into the mix!

Photo: Abe Perlstein

Chad Hoffman

The newest member of the band, Chad plays bass left-handed and upside-down on electric bass and also plays an upright bass named Ethelene!  He and Anthony met playing in the Country band Red Eye Junction some years back.  The enthusiasm, talent, and skills that he brings are palpable in the groove!  He is also one of our primary designers for promotion and merch.

Photo: Cory Bauer

Mike Flactiff

“I was born in a desert…”

Photo: Cory Bauer

 

We play in many formations, from duo to full  band, depending on the venue!

Where and how to find us?

Follow and flow with us through…

Facebook

Reverbnation

YouTube

Concert Window

Instagram

Bandsintown

Soundcloud

Twitter @zenmountainpoet

Follow Us

Contact Us

One of our favorite aspects of sharing our music is the opportunity to connect with people!  Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Billy: billy@zenmountainpoets.com

Robyn: robyn@zenmountainpoets.com