....2AZZ1 delicious grooves at this years Playboy Jazz Festival in Central Park 2001
- Entertainment Today by Paul Anderson
.......Craig and Mary Durst. The man on the sax and the girl with the flaming red hair play with feeling and passion to the crowd.....
- Daily Bulletin / Inland Empire by Imani Tate
Craig and Mary Durst are 2AZZ1. Coincidentally, both were born and raised in small neighboring towns near Jackson, Michigan. Their paths crossed there as young musicians and it seemed destined that they would cross again.
In 1980, Craig moved to Los Angeles to finish his education and pursue a musical career. It was also at that time, while attending college in Indiana, Mary had the opportunity to audition as a vocalist for a jazz fusion album based in LA. Her audition was in the true Hollywood style as she sang over the telephone from her college dorm room for recording executives on the West Coast. Three days later, she was in Los Angeles recording an album.
Their paths did cross again in 1981. They met and were impressed with the way in which each had turned out as adults. After attending a concert in Hollywood together, they began dating. Their collaborative efforts began in 1984 when they were married. They added a drummer, a guitarist, a bass player and founded the group "OnKall." They performed in arenas for audiences numbering from the hundreds in to the thousands. In 1986, OnKall celebrated notable success with their album release, "TRUE LOVE."
They went on to build a reputation as recording artists as well as focused entertainers and changed their name to 2AZZ1 (pronounced "two as one"). The group ranges from a tight 5 piece band up to a 9 piece which includes their popular horn section. They have performed with musical legends like NANCY WILSON, & opened for such artists as EARTH WIND AND FIRE, LEON PATILLO of SANTANA, & RONNIE LAWS.
Today, 2AZZ1 is one of the most popular Adult Contemporary/Jazz Bands on the Southern California club scene. The mixture of their original music and the 2AZZ1 arrangements of popular music keeps their audiences listening and dancing. It is their original material, however, which seems to be drawing the greatest responses. Their most recent CD release, "REaDy", contains ten original songs that run from groove ballads to classic jazz fusion with a new urban/world flare. This exciting CD project was released at the PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL at Central Park in Pasadena on Memorial Day Weekend 2001, with enthusiastic response from thousands of fans. Mary handles the song writing, arranging, and lead vocals & keyboards for the group bringing her unique power & style. In addition to his role as leader & producer, it is Craig's energetic & soulful sounds on the saxophones which exhibits his musical mastery. Their powerful, warm and magnetic personalities draw every audience near to watch & listen.
The two work together as one to define their original sound. They live a daily life of health & fitness which gives them the endurance to love their audience 100%. The music of 2AZZ1 is sure to give sophisticated music lovers what they crave well into the 21st century!