Craig and Mary Durst are 2AZZ1. Coincidentally, both were born and raised in small neighboring towns near Jackson, Michigan. Mary is from Brooklyn, Michigan. Craig is from Vandercook Lake Michigan & spent his H.S. senior year at The Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan. Their paths crossed as young musicians and it seemed destined that they would cross again.
In 1980, Craig left U of M & 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 their first 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. The group ranges from a tight 4 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 & FIRE, LEON PATILLO of SANTANA & RONNIE LAWS. In 2001 2AZZ1 performed at the PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL in Pasadena, CA.
Today, 2AZZ1 is one of the most popular Adult Contemporary/ Smooth Jazz Bands on the Southern California club & Festival 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 2001 release, "REaDy", contains ten original songs that run from groove ballads to classic jazz fusion with a new urban/world flare. Their 2006 release, "Driven" is jam packed with great hit songs received air play on radio stations around the world. They just released their 2010 disc of 10 new Gospel tunes called "Light The Fire" because for 2AZZ1 there is no divide between their secular jazz tunes and their hand in gospel music. Other new singles are soon to be released with more great 2azz1 jazz & funk tunes including "She's Gotta' Ride". Mary handles the song writing, arranging, and lead vocals & keyboards for the group with grace and style. In addition to his role as leader & producer, it is Craig's soulful sounds on the saxophones which exhibits his musical mastery. His powerful, warm and magnetic personality draws 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.