Zion Lion


Preston has been performing for over 20 years in the areas of drums, bass, lead guitar, and keyboards. After a long and painful recovery from a paralyzing back injury, and relocating from Chicago to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1996, Preston began the slow process of putting his life and music back together. Two years later, he acquired a position with the Kalamazoo based reggae band the Jah Kings. Today, while still battling old injuries with new energy he writes and produces music for his own gratification. Starting his home studio and production label, Preston has joined new forces with other local greats and future icons, with hopes of preserving and respecting the original greats before us.

Myra has been performing for over 25 years. Her musical career started out with some brief piano lessons, then later on the clarinet during school years. She convinced her father to buy her a guitar and learned to play it on her own. After moving to Kalamazoo, she sang at local pubs and private affairs, and later started a female band. Shortly after, she joined up with another friend and the 2 of them switched up on bass and rhythm guitars which turned out to be a nice little duo. All the while, she became an avid listener or reggae music. Years later she stumbled across a local band "Yoroka" and joined. She has traveled to Jamaica numerous times and soaking up the talent that abounds. She has been influenced by artist like, Joan Armatrading, Roberta Flack, carole King, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Luciano, susana Baaca, and of course Mama Africa, Mariam Makeba.

Dennis hails from the Windy City of Chicago. He showed talent for music at a young age by making up routines and mouthing lyrics to songs he heard. He learned to read music and play the organ from his father. Later, he became interested in the guitar. His first band was with Ramsey Lewis's three oldest sons until he finshed high school.He later met Red Holt (the half of Young-Holt Unlimited known for the hit Soulful Strut) and played with his son Issac. They formed a band called Phase 2. Dennis later moved to Galveston and formed a band called Rasta International. When he moved to South Haven, Michigan he played classic and country rock, before his joining Zion Lion.

Tony, had his influence in zoukous from his grand parents who were from Cape Verde, Africa. While growing up in Norwich, Conneticut he was surronded by a small population of Cape Verdians and quickly learned to play music. He formed a band with his father and sister called the Santos Family band and played to the audiences around the area playing a style of music that is identifiable to Cape Verde and often sung in Portugese. Tony moved to Kalamazoo, and by some unique way became acquainted with Zion Lion and has played with the band lending his own style to the mix.

Junior has such an exposure to reggae music from his father, Preston (drummer) that it was a given that he would become a part of the band. He has been singing since the age of 6. A self taught keyboardist, he has laid dowm some sweet chords along with his very smooth and melodic voice. In school he has performed in many productions as well as winning talent shows both at school and other events around the Kalamazoo area. He is also quite the eye catcher when he starts dancing for his mesmorized audiences with his limberness on the floor. His favorite artists are Tevin Campbell, Whitney Houston, Janet and Michael Jackson, Aswad, Third World, Maxi Priest and of course Bob Marley.

Assane hails from Dakar, Senegal. He landed his way into the band by happenstance. He came along with a mutual friend to rehearsal one night and was just hooked and determined that he wanted to be apart of the Zion Lion experience. Since his joining the band, he has added the hype and his djembe to the flavor of the band. He is a music apprentice who has been influenced by Baaba Maal, Youssif N'dor, Papa Wenbe', Burning Spear