Zoe was born in Newcastle in the North East of England on the 25th June 1986. She moved to South Wales her adopted homeland after leaving school when she was 16 years old. She first became interested in the guitar after watching her schoolteacher playing. Zoe's first guitar was a ¾ size classical guitar she got when 9 years old.
She started to take lessons at school and quickly became a member of the school orchestra. Zoe discovered a record by The Shadows called Apache and this influenced her to want to play the electric guitar. She became a member of the Newcastle branch of the UB Hank Guitar Club when she was 11 years old and entered a competition at Shadsfest '97 held at St Donats Castle in South Wales. Bruce Welch of the Shadows who judged the competition could not believe that kids of 10 and 11 played Shadows music and had never seen a girl play instrumentals.
Following this Patrick Terrett the organiser of the UB Hank Guitar Club selected Zoe to be included in the Youngstars on Guitars Initiative designed to encourage guitar excellence. This resulted in Zoe spending several months a year in South Wales recording and rehearsing for concerts. Zoe's first concert with the Youngstars was at the London Dockland Arena followed by demonstration concerts all over Europe. She recorded her first cd "Youngstars First Steps" just after her 12th birthday.
Patrick Terrett realising the tremendous potential there was for a young female guitarist took over Zoe's management when she was 13 years old. That year she recorded a duet with former Shadow Jet Harris, which they presented on stage to audiences in the UK and Norway. Zoe also recorded her first solo album "Zoe with Love" which was a tribute to Jet and the Shadows. It was time for Zoe to start to develop her own style of guitar playing instead of copying the Shadows, so Zoe recorded an EP of Abba songs as guitar instrumentals and followed this up with her "Beyond the Shadows" tour of the UK backed by The Reflections from Norway.
That year she was voted best new artiste 2000 by the Rock Instrumental Hall of Fame and fans in Brazil started calling her the "Queen of the Stratocaster". The Australian superstar guitarist Tommy Emmanuel got to hear her album and invited her to join him on a small tour of America. This took in the Chet Atkins convention and ended up with Zoe as a special guest on the All Star Guitar Night at the Wildhorse Saloon Nashville. While at the Wildhorse she met Nokie Edwards of the biggest selling guitar band in the world, The Ventures. Nokie invited Zoe to play at his annual festival in Eugene the following month and she has been going back every year since.
A change of recording studio and musical director in 2002 resulted in the highly acclaimed "Girls with Guitars" album. Promoting this took Zoe back to the west coast of America and also to New York for the first time where she was introduced to the man who invented the electric guitar Les Paul. The year ended with her band Shabbey Road playing The Rock Instrumental Guitar Festival in London. Zoe introduced Nokie Edwards to the UK for the very first time at that event and afterwards took him to meet Bruce Welch.
Zoe released another cd "Never Give Up Never Give In" in January 2003 just in time to take with her on a Cruise with The Ventures from Los Angeles to Baja Mexico. Zoe together with Alan White of Yes, Jeff Cooke of Alabama, Roger Fisher of Heart and Elvis tribute Tracy Alan Moore were all special guests of The Ventures and Los Straitjackets. Zoe received a standing ovation after the show and all her cds quickly sold out. Concerts in Holland and Germany followed before Zoe returned to America for a month's tour taking in Dallas, Eugene, Nashville, New York, Austin, and Mesquite.
Mason Williams the composer of the biggest selling guitar instrumental of all time "Classical Gas" watched Zoe's concert in Eugene and after the show they exchanged cds. On the 2500 drive to Zoe's next concert in Nashville Zoe played Mason's music over and over in the car and came to realise there was a lot more to Mason than Classical Gas. Mason and Zoe were both special guests at the Chet Aktins Convention and over dinner after the show Mason suggested Zoe should record one of his songs. Everywhere Zoe went on that tour she proved to be a huge success. In Austin Texas the Lord Mayor declared 3 days in her honour and in Mesquite they made her an honorary Lord Mayor. Art Greenhaw who won a Grammy for his gospel album persuaded Zoe to play in a church and she ended up with a standing ovation something never seen before.
When Zoe returned to the UK she found the national press had picked up on her success and were all looking to interview her. The press reports lead to Zoe being invited to join the Young Voices Concert Tour. Before that she recorded a Mason song called "Gypsy Noodle". Mason loved what she did with the song and gave her first release for her next album. Zoe played the new instrumental on the Young Voices Tour, which took in the Hallum Arena Sheffield, the Birmingham NIA, the Manchester MEN, the Odyssey Belfast and the Point Dublin. HTV filmed Zoe in front of an audience of 20,000 at the Manchester MEN. This formed part of a TV special on Zoe to be broadcast in October 2004.
Following the success of "Gypsy Noodle" Mason gave Zoe the rights to record any of his music she wanted. In total, 5 tracks were selected for the new May 2004 album. One of the tracks is the very beautiful "Largo Deluxe" a duet between Mason on the classical guitar and Zoe on her Stratocaster. Mason is hoping this will be picked up as a film theme. The most difficult track on the album was "Classical Gas" this was not because it was hard to play but because it has already been recorded over 200 times and Zoe needed to make her version stand out. Mason not only thinks Zoe is a great guitar player but to use his words, he thinks her backing musicians and arrangements are "tops" also.
In July 2004 it was back to Nashville to play BB Kings and the Chet Atkins convention, where Mason was Zoe's concert guest on Santa Fe Souvenir and Largo Deluxe from the new album. In the audience was Hall of Fame record producer Robert Metzgar. After the show Robert said he had just witnessed the most inspiring guitar playing he had come across in 30years in the business. The following night Zoe was Mason's guest together with Beth Nielson Chapman and Nokie Edwards.
Mason Williams was so pleased with Gypsy Noodle, he entered the album for the 2004 Grammy Awards.
Included on the Gypsy Noodle album were tracks composed my Mark Knopfler which Zoe had arranged as instrumentals. When Mark heard the tracks he invited Zoe to be a special guest at his after-show party following his concert in Cardiff. Mark spent most of his time talking guitars with Zoe and told her she was one of the fastest flat pickers he had ever met. Mark also suggested she should include Exodus on her next album.
Zoe started to record her follow up album in 2005 and laid down 4 tracks to set the standard. These were War of the Worlds, Exodus, Celtic Warrior and another track composed by Mason Williams which changed quite a lot and re-named "The Last Crusade". Mason was so pleased with what she did with the song he invited Zoe to record an album of his music with him on his label. That album was named "Electrical Gas" after Zoe's electric guitar version of "Classical Gas". That album was also entered for the Grammy Awards but released too late to have an impact. Zoe although only 18 years old was by now well known in the USA and was invited to be a voting member of the Recording Academy of America which meant she actually got to vote on the Grammy Awards.
In 2005 Zoe included a tour of Japan where she played 11 concerts. This was a great success with all her albums selling out after the second concert.
One day out of the blue in 2006 came a phone call from the management of Jeff Beck. They had been asked by Jeff to invite Zoe to be a VIP guest at his Liverpool arena concert. After the concert Jeff told Zoe that his wife played her albums at home.
On a trip to play in Finland in 2006 Zoe found she had developed a fear of flying and this lead to her deciding to give up recording and touring and turn to something she had always wanted to do from the age of twelve and that was to teach guitar. In August 2006 Zoe became a private guitar tutor and a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors (RGT) which allows her to teach the RGT grade exams to her students. This has proved to be a huge success and Zoe has produced some excellent guitarists many of whom have gone on to form bands.
In September 2010 she received an email inviting her to be one of only 18 guitarists worldwide to be a recipient of a special Buddy Holly Guitar from "The Buddy Holly Guitar Foundation". Buddy owned a 1943 J45 Gibson which he covered in carved leather. This guitar was recently sold at auction for $500,000. Before that it had been re-fretted and 18 of the original 19 frets were purchased by the Foundation. Custom made replicas of the guitar are being made and each one will have one fret from the original guitar. Buddy had he lived wanted to set up a studio to encourage kids to play music and the Charity Foundation is set up in his name to do that and is supported by Buddy's wife Marie Elena.
Zoe could not believe that she was selected for this honour but they insisted she was just the sort of person Buddy would have wanted involved. Zoe will be receiving guitar number eight which be called "Heartbeat". Every guitar will be named after one of Buddy's songs. Heartbeat was selected for Zoe's guitar because this is the second song her students learn when they take lessons. Some of the other recipients of a Buddy Holly Guitar include, Hank Marvin (Shadows) Nokie Edwards (Ventures) Brian May (Queen) Graham Nash (Hollies) the list goes on and a full list and details of the charity can be found at www.buddyhollyguitarfoundation.org.
The very first time Zoe came to Wales was when she was 11 years old to play 'Shadsfest 97' at St Donats Castle where students of Bridgend College Performing Arts were also performing. When Zoe moved to Wales she became a student herself of the College and several of her own students have since followed the same route. In June 2011 Zoe has been invited to play a concert at the College to celebrate the opening of a new 400 seat theatre.