When Zach Freidhof was 15 years old, he wanted to be a basketball player. Who knew that a nearly fatal attack of appendicitis would actually steer him on the road to becoming a musician?
During his recuperation in the hospital, Freidhof’s friends brought music to cheer him up, and he became inspired. Pulling from musical influences such as U2 and Trevor Hall, Freidhof began playing guitar and singing songs he wrote himself. Within three months, he had his first coffeehouse gig. When his performance was met with a standing ovation, he knew he was on his way to finding his voice.
In addition to music, and as a result of being inspired by the words and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, Freidhof co-founded a nonprofit organization in spring 2010, “The Akron Peace Project.” This group provides tools and education about nonviolence to the local communities throughout Akron. “We try to partner with as many groups as we can to spread peace,” he adds.
Formerly from Brecksville, Freidhof now makes his home in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood. When he’s not on tour, he loves to be outdoors, bike, practice yoga and support other local musicians.
Freidhof has traveled throughout the United States, performing at festivals and concerts, but he says his most memorable musical experiences come from being invited to play music in people’s private homes and build long-lasting relationships.
“There’s a beautiful intimacy. You really get to know everyone who comes out,” he says. “It really is a beautiful experience.”
Freidhof was also named akronlife’s Best Humanitarian in the July 2013 Best of The City issue.