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Local Spotlight - Znora

local spotlight znora band tucson

Znora is an award-winning three piece rock band out of the Arizona desert. 

Adrian Negrete writes the original tunes, sings lead and plays guitar with a mix of varied influences from Chuck Berry and Santana to SRV and Hendrix. Joshua Montano brings his fierce drum skills and passion for 90s rock drummer styles like Dave Grohl and Chad Smith. Johnathan Rohde fills out the low end on the bass and blends rich harmonies.

All three teens come together to make this guitar-driven trio shine. They are currently working with Cimamusic Mix and Mastering on releasing their first EP by the end of 2023. Znora enjoys sharing their soulful rock n' roll any chance they get. Catch them live around the Southwest and even Memphis, Tennessee in the upcoming year!

Znora released a new single "Sweet Baby Rae" on

November 17th, 2023

Znora also just won First Place at Alice Cooper's Proof is in the Pudding competition in Mesa, taking home $1,000, and will now open for Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar and others at Cooper's Christmas Pudding concert in Phoenix on December 9th, 2023.


We asked Znora 5 questions about their experiences as musicians in Tucson. Here's what they said:

What's your favorite venue to play in Tucson?

Our favorite venues that we have played in Tucson are The Gaslight Music Hall Oro Valley and the Rialto Theatre. Both venues have been where we have seen many fabulous bands and musicians play so getting to perform at them together was a great, crazy experience. The sound and production elements at these two venues are awesome and we get to play our own show for the people, highlighting our own sound and original music. We look forward to playing again at these two venues in the future.

What's the funniest thing that's happened during a performance?

Since the three of us are super close and have a great relationship on and off stage, it's not uncommon for us to look at each other while performing and go into a laughing fit. One time really stands out when we were performing on the beach in California. This small group of kids came up to watch us and then ran away shortly after we started our set, but then they came right back with more of their friends and those friends left and came back with more of their friends. It was like all these kids came out of nowhere and we couldn’t stop laughing.

What's your first memory as a musician?

My first memory of being a musician is when I played a trumpet solo in fifth grade. It was in December, and I played “Deck the Halls”. It was my first year playing trumpet, so some of the notes were challenging and it ended on a high note. I wasn’t sure I could reach it, so I was in total focus. I ended up nailing the piece and the crowd loved it. That’s when I knew I wanted to perform. - Johny

My first memories as a musician are from when I was about 3 years old and playing both the piano and this tiny "kid drum kit" with my Grandma Donna, the only other musician in my family. I knew that I wanted to play music with other people from that age. I would accompany her a lot on drums while she played the piano. It is always so much fun to share making music with others. - Adrian

My first memory of being interested in playing the drums was in 7th grade music class. There was an electric drum kit and I asked my teacher to show me how to play something. He showed me the basic 4/4 and I would spend all the time in that class trying to perfect the beat and from that my interest in playing drums expanded. - Josh

What's your favorite song to perform?

My favorite song always changes, depending on how much we play it. However, I think that Znora’s cover of “Soul to Squeeze” by Red Hot Chili Peppers will always remain one of my favorites to play live. - Johny

My favorite song right now to perform is “Only One Sun”. It is an original that I wrote. It starts with some finger picking and then turns into a fun heavy hitter. I like the lyrics about my past, some of them I wrote back when I was 13. I really like playing it with the guys because of everything we put into it together on stage as a band. - Adrian

My favorite songs are all our originals, but I particularly like “Sweet Baby Rae” and “Mess Around”. “Mess Around” is extremely fun on the drums and “Sweet Baby Rae” is always towards the end of our sets so we put all that last show energy into it and even people that have never heard it before get into it. “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix is probably my favorite cover to perform and to go crazy on stage at the end of our gigs. - Josh

What's the best advice you've ever received?

The best advice we have received collectively, is to never give up and always strive for our goals. There will be great gigs and some that aren’t so great but when people come up to us after our shows to tell us they enjoy our music, it really encourages us. Many people repeat the same simple advice, but it is important when they say that we should keep going. It gives us hope that we can continue doing what we love and maybe turn it into something bigger.


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