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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Jeremy Douglass with Rebacca Zapen

Bill DeYoung



Musician Jeremy Douglass was our guest for Tuesday’s edition of The Catalyst Sessions, covering a wide range of subjects including the origins of his bay area super-band, the Florida Bjorkestra.

“All my friends – who are much smarter than I am – helped me, and gave me pointers,” the pianist, arranger and composer told us. “The band grew and we gathered more people, and did more shows and covered more artists, and it’s turned less into my band and more into a collection of people who all contribute.”

The Bjorkrstra, which sometimes includes 20 musicians on the stage, was scheduled to revive its popular Buffyfest – a live reading of the music from Buffy the Vampire Slayer – this month at the Palladium.

“I imagine Buffyfest will be one of the first things I do when we’re all able to do things,” Douglass said. “We’re all taking our best guesses about when that’s going to be, but at this point I’m just like ‘Hey, whenever they give the clear for us to be in large groups again, let’s book that show.”

Douglas played a couple of tunes during our interview, and at one point was joined by his wife, Rebecca Zapen, for a surprise number, an offhand request made by the Catalyst Sessions host before the live stream began.

The host (yours truly) wishes to thank them again for such a lovely surprise.

Douglas, Zapen and their two small children are safe at home, waiting things out like everyone else.

“I’m fortunate to have my family here, and everybody’s in relatively good health,” he said. “And we have all that we need. I feel like we’re lucky.”

How does he keep himself busy, musically? Here’s one way.

At the start of the pandemic, said Douglas, “I think my immediate concerns were the safety of all the people that I love. Most of my trauma was focusing on ‘What’s going to happen to everybody?’ I didn’t mourn the loss of the work so much, because I will always find a creative outlet. I’m not worried about that.”



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