Danny Zelisko, a 61-year-old Chicago transplant, has created a concert promotion empire here in the Phoenix area (as well as in New Mexico, Nevada and, over the years, across the country) while building a stellar reputation as both a true music fan and an exceptional businessman. Zelisko regularly co-hosts a radio show on 93.9 FM with fellow local music aficionados such as Ed Masley from Arizona Central and Jason Woodbury from Aquarium Drunkard, playing local and national talent and discussing the influence of the artists.
The modest Zelisko says he still “does okay” in the promotion business after walking away from Live Nation in 2011, who he worked for after he sold Evening Star Promotions to SFX (which later sold to ClearChannel and then to Live Nation). Zelisko does better than okay. His current company, Danny Zelisko Presents (DZP), puts on some of the better rock and roll shows in the Southwest. In October alone, DZP will promote acts as diverse as Slayer, Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson and more.
Zelisko was gracious enough to check in with us during a recent vacation to talk a little bit about the state of the music scene in Arizona and how he came to have a very important place in it. The Valley would not be the same without Danny Zelisko, and for this, we salute him.