.Making Music with San Rafael’s Susan Zelinsky

I was introduced to singer-songwriter Susan Zelinsky through my friend, Rachel Conine, and just in time since I’m hoping to see her perform at the “Sheryl Crow Celebration” at Rancho Nicasio this Friday. The following is an interview with Zelinsky:

What do you do? Lots. I direct musical theater productions at a few schools throughout Marin. I’m also the music teacher at Venetia Valley, through Marin Youth in Arts. I’m also a member of three bands, Urban Outlaws, The Winding Road and Lilith Affair; sing backups with the Jenny Kerr Band; and working on a new album of my original music.

Where do you live? San Rafael’s West End Village.

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

How long have you lived in Marin? 35 years, 33 in the same house.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

I take my dog, Maizy, to San Quentin Beach, or for walks on Sorich Ridge. My family likes Creekside in San Anselmo and Via Piccola Trattoria in Tiburon. The open mics on Wednesday nights are fun at Big Rock Cafe.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin was, where would you take them?

Definitely a hike on Mount Tam to see Cushing Memorial Amphitheater, East Peak’s Fire Lookout for a moonrise and Bolinas Ridge for a sunset. Mountain Play for a performance and Rancho Nicasio for a Sunday Summer Concert. Fourth Street in San Rafael for Dining Under the Lights and live music at the Pint Size Lounge.

What is one thing Marin is missing?

When my kids were little, I wished there was a roller or ice rink, in the old Yardbirds building. I’d be so much better at skating.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites?

Attending live performances of music and theater is good for your soul, and your community. Things have opened up again, so get out there and enjoy!

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, whom would they be? Robin Williams. We have a lot of catching up to do, one on one, heart to heart.

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago?

Let go of perfectionism, go ahead and fail, and acknowledge every step you’ve taken to get where you are today.

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy?

That we didn’t have Universal Healthcare in 2023. Fingers crossed.

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world?

I’d start by making music and theater mandatory for all elementary grades, to nurture compassion, creativity and wonder.

Visit @susanzmusic on Instagram or FB for details on Friday’s show.


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