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Zitzman sings solo

Volunteers as ‘running buddy’ in Nashville

December 22, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

FAIRFAX- A 34-year-old Nashville singer/songwriter who grew up in New Ulm gave Fairfax Community Home and Countryview Estates residents a taste of Christmas and Country Western music Friday.

Brenda Zitzman, who performed with the all-female band Mustang Sally for 10 years, touring 35 states and eight foreign countries, now sings solo in Nashville.

"The traveling got to be too much," Zitzman said. "But I love Nashville. I've lived there for 15 years."

Article Photos

Staff photo by Fritz Busch

New Ulm native Brenda Zitzman, who now lives in Nashville, sings at the Fairfax Community Home and Countryview Estates Friday. She will join two other former New Ulm musicians, Jason Hoffman, of Nashville, and Jay Kalk, of Minneapolis, to sing and back each other in rock and Country Western songs 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the New Ulm Event Center.

With Mustang Sally, Zitzman toured Switzerland each year, plus Japan, Italy, Spain and other countries. The band enjoys radio airplay and has a strong fan base in Switzerland.

Singing isn't all Zitzman does. Not by a long shot.

A tour guide at Opryland (a theme park with many musical shows, billed as the "Home of American Music"), Zitzman also volunteers as a "running buddy" for Girls On the Run Nashville, an after-school program for third to eighth-grade girls designed to build a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living and train to compete in a 5k (3.1 mile) race.

She maintains her health by running daily herself, recently completing her first half marathon (13.1 mile road race). In addition, she acts as a foster parent for dogs needing temporary housing through the East Nashville Community Action Network (East CAN).

"I also enjoy yoga, zumba and cooking," Zitzman said.

A 1996 New Ulm Cathedral High School graduate, Zitzman graduated with a bachelor's degree in music from Belmont University in Nashville.

There's more music tonight in New Ulm.

Zitzman will join New Ulm natives Jason Hoffman, another Nashville musician; and Jay Kalk, who lived in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Honolulu before recently moving to Minneapolis. In addition, Zitzman's brother and a friend of Hoffman's will take part in a country/rock concert with a few Christmas songs mixed in, from 8 to 11 p.m. at the New Ulm Event Center. Between songs, they'll talk about the significance of their music and tell tales of the road while touring as musicians.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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