Alum brings Cult to campus


Cloud Cult is a band new to the Great Hall stage, except for one member: Daniel Zamzow (far right). Zamzow, a cellist in the band, graduated from the UNI School of M

SYDNEY HAUER, Executive Editor | [email protected]

On Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m., Daniel Zamzow, a UNI alumnus, will return to UNI to perform with the band Cloud Cult. The band is coming as part of Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center’s (GBPAC) new Handpicked series that launched on Dec. 10. The event will take place in the Great Hall, and tickets are still available. Students can use one of their two free tickets for the event.

Zamzow graduated with a bachelor’s in 2007 from the School of Music.

Zamzow recalled the days he spent playing recitals in the GBPAC Great Hall as a member of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra and the Northern Iowa Symphony.

“I’ve played a number of concerts on that stage, and it’s cool to be coming back being in a different context,” Zamzow said.

Zamzow, who studied cello with Jonathan Chenoweth and also studied abroad in Austria while at UNI, spoke fondly of the education that he received.

“I had no doubt that I needed to go to UNI,” Zamzow said.

After graduating from UNI in the spring of 2007, Zamzow moved to the Twin Cities, where he started an associate’s degree program in audio production engineering.

However, it was not just Zamzow’s history with UNI that allowed Cloud Cult to be part of the Handpicked series.

According to Blake Argotsinger, associate market manager at GBPAC, Cloud Cult was selected from the list because it was in the top 20 out of over 400 responses.

“Handpicked is a series that we more or less launched last year,” Argotsinger said. “This past summer we went around to a lot of festivals – like Gentlemen of the Road in Waverly. We had people fill out forms of about 100 bands of who they’d most like to see in the Cedar Valley. Cedar Falls isn’t usually a destination for most bands, so we’re hoping there is a market in the Cedar Valley for independent music.”

After having community members fill out the forms at numerous art festivals throughout the area, Argotsinger believes that these numbers reflect the Cedar Valley as a whole.

“Cloud Cult’s performances involve artists painting pictures on stage, eight incredible musicians and lyrics that are philosophical and inspirational,” Argotsinger said. “Even if the music isn’t your cup of tea, the live energy of the shows, like with the painters and the ensemble of musicians who each play, like, three to four different instruments. It’s wild.”

The band features eight members, comprising a chamber ensemble whose sound ranges from eclectic folk music to experimental indie rock.

“Craig Minowa started the band in the 90’s, and they became bigger in the 2000’s,” Argotsinger said. “He’s been around and holds a fond place in people’s hearts.”

Maddy Wright, a student at Cedar Falls High School planning to attend UNI in the fall, said she’s excited to attend the show, because it will force her to explore a new genre of music.

“I’m going to the show because I’ve heard that they have a very different and unique vibe to them,” Wright said.

Sophomore elementary education major, Spencer Westhoff, plans on going to the show as well.

“I am very interested in seeing Cloud Cult perform because I saw an advertisement comparing them to Arcade Fire, my favorite band,” Westhoff said. “They look very interesting because of the variation of instruments they use.”

Zamzow discussed how being a musician is a viable career path in which one can be successful. He offered advice to music students, saying:

“There is so much more [that is] possible than just performing in a formal setting or being a teacher.”

Those who are interested in more information about Cloud Cult or Kishi Bashi with Strings (a Handpicked show scheduled for April 7) or who want to receive updates from Handpicked can join a mailing list by going to Tickets are also available for both Cloud Cult and Kishi Bashi with Strings on the website.