The following was excerpted from a Dallas Observer article published November 13: David Zoller, Dallas pianist and composer, died Monday morning November 9th at his home surrounded by family, his son Matt Zoller Seitz announced.
Zoller, who was born in 1941, was revered for three generations for his jazz and piano compositions. His discography includes 3x4x, Snug Harbor and Love Song to a Genie as well as many collaborations with local artists such as Fred Hamilton. Zoller founded the DPZ Jazz record label which released albums from artist and Zoller’s second wife (and former Local 72-147 Secretary-Treasurer) Genie Grant. Among his several albums and record label pursuits, Zoller also prepared over 1,000 tracks for television and radio, making him a versatile staple in the Dallas music scene.
In a post memorializing his late father, Matt Zoller Seitz spoke of the “Dave Zoller solo,” a shorthand commonly used by local artists that detailed how Zoller’s music created a story within his song, developing themes with a climactic ending. With performances from the Texas Theater to the Dallas Museum of Art, Zoller’s presence was engrained in North Texas.
Zoller first gained an interest in jazz at the age of 13 when he heard a Dave Brubeck album while attending a camp for Boy Scouts. An Ohio native, Zoller attended Southern Methodist University, where he unsuccessfully pursued a degree in chemistry. After a stint in the Army, Zoller studied composition and theory at the University of Missouri where he met his first wife, Bettye, where they had two children. The couple divorced in 1975. In 1986, Zoller married Grant and moved to Dallas where they remained until her death in 2009.
Zoller is survived by his partner, Liz Sutherland, two sons, Matt and Jeremy Zoller Seitz, and eight grandchildren.