The voice of Freddie
Paul Zablidowsky, a.k.a. Paulie Z, was born into a hard-working Brooklyn, NY family filled with Jewish and Colombian traditions, where money was tight and music was celebrated! His father played bass guitar, and singing filled their home. Young Paulie grew up idolizing NYC rockers KISS with their larger-than-life stage show and fashion. School talent shows made it clear that singing and entertaining was his passion. With big dreams of success, Paulie also picked up the electric guitar. With his soul mate brother David on bass, they began banging their heads and shaking their hips, playing heavy metal together in their apartment basement. The ‘Z Brothers’ were an inseparable musical force. Performing live throughout NYC, they packed clubs, and ultimately formed the power trio ZO2, giving them their first real taste of success.
In 2004, Paulie’s dream came true when ZO2 was invited to tour the United States with KISS and Poison. ZO2 released three albums and four singles, and in 2008 landed their own TV series ‘Z Rock’ which aired for two seasons on the IFC Network. The show was based on their real life story of being rock stars at night, and kids’ entertainers by day driving around NYC in an old van with a “PAULIE Z” license plate.
“I was always a Queen fan, but not a super fan where I knew all the deep cuts and historical trivia. I was fully aware of their hits, increíble musicianship and stage presence, but never connected all the dots to get a full picture of the scope of their career. It was only when I saw the movie Bohemian Rhapsody that I fell in love with the band and Freddie Mercury in particular.”
Comedian Joan Rivers, who was a regular guest on their show, used to say that the secret of success was to “always enjoy the process Paulie.” He treasured her words of advice, and with his fearless inhibitions, continued to reach higher levels of vocal performances. He starred in theatrical rock musicals, sang the national anthem at various professional sporting events, and hosted ‘The Paulie Z Show’ podcast on iTunes. Simultaneously Paulie was focused on teaching younger children, and NY1 Network named him ‘New Yorker of The Week’ for his contribution to music education.
In 2013 Paulie moved to Los Angeles and released his debut solo EP which showcased his songwriting abilities. Deep rooted in family, he longed for his parents, brother David, and future wife to join him. Unfortunately on July 14, 2017 his brother David, on tour in Florida, was tragically killed in a roadside accident. Paulie’s life was changed forever to remember David Z as an inspiration to live and love in the only moment we all have. The present moment of NOW!
“I’ve sung many Queen songs in my career and have been compared to Freddie numerous times both as a vocalist and frontman, but watching him being portrayed on screen helped solidify the comparisons. As I watched on the big screen, I found myself connected on a very deep level to every move he made, every note he sung and every costume he wore. I thought to myself “I can do that authentically and I want to do it at the highest level”. Even though it was an actor on the screen, I knew he was portraying the life and talent of arguably the greatest singer and frontman that ever lived.”
In LA, Paulie became the host/producer of ‘Ultimate Jam Night’, a successful weekly residency at the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, where celebrity rock stars and locals come out to jam. It was there where he met band mate’s bassist Aaron Samson and guitarist Steve Zukowsky. In 2017 he was recruited to be the lead singer of the legendary glam band ‘SWEET’ and has been touring with them ever since.
Today Paulie continues to share his love of teaching in classrooms by day, while commanding the stages by night. His parents finally moved to LA and his family is now complete with his beautiful wife and baby boy Lucas.
Paulie Z takes on the present moment of NOW in the spirit of his brother David, to the highest calling. By channeling the genius of Freddie Mercury through this lovable goofy kid from Brooklyn, Paulie shares his stories, flamboyant fashion, and amazing vocal talents in BOHEMIAN QUEEN; A Theatrical Tribute To Queen.
“Bohemian Queen is my vehicle to bring to life for audiences the same magic, power and legacy I saw on that screen.”
Back in 1993, Steve was an original member in the Los Angeles band, ‘Sheer Heart Attack’; one of the first QUEEN tribute bands in the USA. They constantly packed houses in famous SoCal venues like the Troubadour, Key Club, and the Roxy. The band was featured in the indie documentary film, ‘Tribute – the Movie’, which was shown on Sundance, Showtime, and other outlets in the film festival circuit.
For decades, Steve has been the go-to guitar master performing in top LA bands, including Led Zepagain, which caught the attention of legendary Zep guitarist Jimmy Page, who came out to watch the band perform. Meeting Steve after the show, Page wrote an autograph: “Steve – Thanks for sounding so GOOD!! – Jimmy Page.” After that encounter, Steve and the band were able to fly to London to witness the Led Zeppelin reunion concert, sitting directly behind QUEEN guitarist Brian May!
“I remember as a child my older sister brought home a 45 vinyl record of ‘Killer Queen,’ the new single from this band called QUEEN. I heard it, and was instantly hooked. From that day on, QUEEN has been one of my favorite bands of all time. At age 15, I was fortunate to see them perform a couple of times, and it changed my life. Having just taken up guitar, Brian May’s unique style has had a huge influence on my own guitar playing.”
In 2011, QUEEN drummer Roger Taylor put together the official QUEEN tribute band, which Steve was selected for final auditions in person for Taylor. He didn’t get the gig, but it was a high praise for him to get that close to the source!
Since 2015, Steve has performed with symphonic orchestras around the USA with Windborne Music classic rock symphony shows. The shows included QUEEN’s touring bassist Danny Miranda. Steve performs in other Windborne shows featuring Zeppelin, Stones, Bowie, and U2.
Other bands include ‘Which One’s Pink?’ (Pink Floyd), Dog N Butterfly (Heart), Zeppelin USA, Kenny Metcalf (Elton John), and others. He has also performed with David Victor formerly of Boston and reggae soul band ReLoVe with Glenn Jost and Victor Bender. Steve and Victor also created ‘Acoustic Graffiti – The Music of Led Zeppelin Unplugged and Reimagined’.
In 2020, David Victor called Steve to join Glenn and Paulie in the formation of BOHEMIAN QUEEN.
Born in British Columbia, Canada, Aaron Samson’s fondest childhood memories in the rainy cold weather that often kept him bundled up indoors, was learning to play piano with his loving grandmother. Formal music training started at age 8 on various instruments, but after witnessing a local rock band’s performance at elementary school dance, he felt the thunder of those low melodic frequencies and his passion for the electric bass became clear.
Moving to Southern California at age 12, he was fortunate to be exposed to music production by a family friend and multi-Grammy winning Canadian producer David Foster. Aaron hooked up with guitarist and band mate Jeff Duncan at Glendale High School, and started writing and recording songs which would eventually become the foundation of rock band ODIN.
“Queen is a band I deeply respect and find endless joy in learning and playing the music ‘LIVE’ with this talented lineup of musician friends in BOHEMIAN QUEEN… playing Queen music never gets old!”.
At age 19 he signed his first major recording contract with RCA, as the band became kings of the Sunset Strip Los Angeles club scene of the late ’80s. Combining New Wave of British Heavy Metal styled guitar riffing with hook-laden vocal melodies, ODIN was featured in the film ‘The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years” (1988) depicting the excessive glam-metal scene in Hollywood, CA. Their single ‘Shining Love’ aired on MTV, with lots of hairspray and attitude. ODIN had found their moment of fame!
In the early 90s he signed with Warner / Chappell publishing and went on to form several prominent original bands plus worked as a sideman with other pro musicians like Steven Adler / Guns N Roses, John 5, and George Lynch just to name a few.
Aaron still loves to ski in cold weather of Canada and continues to feel the thunder playing bass on various stages such as the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood where he met Paulie Z, who recruited him to join BOHEMIAN QUEEN.
Originally from Buffalo, NY left-handed singing drummer Glenn Jost started performing clubs at age 15 before relentlessly touring the Northeast. In New York City, he played the East Village scene while working with 13X Grammy Award legend Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk Studios cleaning vinyl masters and listening to everything. Surrounded by world-class music producers, he developed his eclectic songwriting and recorded the first ReLoVe track which was awarded by 4th Annual Billboard Song contest.
Moving to Los Angeles, he performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival, USAF tour of Greenland, Gigolettes on KTLA channel 5, lounge drummer on Alley McBeal Fox TV, played with The Horse Soldiers (GNP Crescendo/Sony), contributed track for ‘Cowboy Christmas’ (Scotti Bros./WEA), and performed with the original Broadway hit DreamGirls. Also, recorded 3 albums with Laura Hall from the TV comedy Whose Line is it Anyway?, and played with Improv All-stars backing comedic vocals of the late actor Robin Williams.
“I was weaned on QUEEN, learning to play their deepest cuts off their early albums with my childhood friends. Roger Taylor’s drumming, singing, and musical sensitivities are part of who I am. Collectively their songwriting and harmonies were magical. The genius of Freddie’s vocals, rhythm, melodic dexterity, and pure expression make QUEEN one of greatest bands ever!”
Since 2008 Glenn has booked, performed, and co-managed 3 national touring acts with David Victor formerly of Boston, creating the bands Bostyx, Platinum Rockstars, and their theatrical show concept Rock Stars & Stripes, which licensed the rights to Carnival Cruise lines produced exclusively at sea.
Glenn brought ReLoVe back to life in 2019 with a renewed sense of purpose releasing EP entitled ‘Music on a Mission!’ produced by Victor Bender on AWAL Records, reaching #164 on NACC College Radio Charts with signed sync licensing agreements to NETFLIX ‘Bill Nye Saves the World’, Discovery Network & Partners, TLC ‘The Healer’, PBS ‘Road Trip Nation’, A&E, MTV ‘Real World’, and more.
In 2020, David Victor introduced Glenn to Paulie Z to form BOHEMIAN QUEEN.
Born in Colombia, South America, keyboardist Victor Bender was raised performing the nightclubs in the fashionable Colombian music scene as a multi-instrumentalist, while working tireless days alongside his father at the recording studio of Fuentes Records, one of the most prominent record labels in Colombia. Surrounded by sound, he learned music composition and production, eventually cutting demos to launch the careers of many important Latin pop stars, most notably ‘Juanes’ on Universal Records.
With a keen ear for post-production, Bender moved to Los Angeles and created his own company Bender Post writing music and sound design with national advertising agencies for brands like Coca-Cola, Dawn, Samsung, Nordstrom, and many more. He’s also worked on hundreds of titles in audio post-production for Disney, Fox, Paramount, Netflix, Universal, and Sony Pictures.
“I grew up in Colombia, trying to figure out and capture Mercury’s piano playing as a young teenager, completely fascinated by the colorful and unique music QUEEN was releasing on their first 3 albums. The soaring guitars and vocal harmonies were absolutely mind blowing to me. When’ A Night at the Opera’ came out, I became obsessed to dig deeper into their genius musical complexities.
Bender has led audio post-production seminars for several college universities in Colombia and Miami, and was featured in Rolling Stone International magazine as producer and mixing engineer for ‘Kraken’ and ‘Estados Alterados’, the first South American band to reach heavy rotation on MTV. His work in the film industry also allowed him to write scores of films, most notably ‘Sumas y Restas’ which won 14 International film festival awards.
With his passion for charismatic showmanship, Bender teamed up Steve Zukowsky in ‘Sheer Heart Attack’, LA’s 1stQueen Tribute, and later with Glenn Jost, producing ReLoVe music, and performing in numerous rock acts including Bostyx and Platinum Rockstars, featuring David Victor formerly of Boston.
In 2020, Glenn brought Victor into the band with Paulie Z to form BOHEMIAN QUEEN. He would only join with his pal Steve Zukowsky playing guitar!