Danny's Blog
Danny Zelisko: Arizona’s Music Man

At 19 years old, Danny Zelisko ditched Chicago for Arizona.  It was probably one of the best moves he’s ever made.

In 1974, young Zelisko stepped into the music industry.  Fast-forward 30+ years, and he’s known as one of the world’s best promoters and talent buyers.

Zelisko put Arizona on the map when it comes to concerts.  He founded the legendary promoting firm, Evening Star Productions, attracting superstars to the Valley of the Sun.

He’s worked with headliners like KISS, Bon Jovi, Nirvana, Paul McCartney, and Pink Floyd.  Let’s just say the guy’s bad ass.

I got a sit-down with Zelisko—learning what it’s like to achieve such success.  In addition, he gave us the scoop on upcoming Arizona attractions.

Zelisko kicked off his career promoting concerts at Tempe’s Dooley’s Nightclub.  Acts like The Police, Pat Benatar, and No Doubt made their rounds on-stage.  Unfortunately, the hall closed in the mid-90s, but Danny was flying high—he was dubbed the lead in his territory in the area of booking.

His company became Arizona’s #1 concert promoter, producing hundreds of shows each year.  He’s been around the block many times, seeing many Valley venues evolve.  Zelisko worked shows at Vets Memorial Coliseum (The Phoenix Suns’ original home) and the America West Arena (now known as US Airways).  In 1990, Evening Star teamed up with Desert Sky Amphitheatre, debuting a grand opening show with Billy Joel. (The Amphitheatre is now Ashley Furniture Pavilion.)  He also promoted shows in almost every state during the 80′s and 90′s.

By 2000, a number of esteemed concert promoters were consolidated under SFX, which was soon bought by Clear Channel Communications; therefore, Zelisko then became a part of Clear Channel Entertainment.

Of course any groupie has heard of Live Nation; well, in 2006, Clear Channel launched its Live Nation division, where Zelisko became President.  However, Zelisko decided to leave that gig, once again, going out on his own.  He’s now the mastermind behind Danny Zelisko Presents.

Nowadays, he spends his time booking the best of gigs at more than ten venues including Arizona’s US Airways Center, Orpheum Theatre, and Talking Stick Resort.  He’s also a fan of Sin City, bringing big names to The Pearl Concert Hall at The Palms Casino Resort and the Mandalay Bay Event Center.

Zelisko recently released his Arizona summer series, including shows courtesy of The Beach Boys, Beck, Joan Jett, Seal, Toto, and Kelly Clarkson.  And he’s constantly signing stars to his line-up.

Article by: Nadine on the Scene  www.nadineonthescene.com

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