Zeb Cruikshank was born and raised in NH, and began playing guitar when he was 8 years old… then again when he was 10… but the 3rd time was the charm when he picked it up again at age 14.  Instead of wasting time wishing he had stuck with it, he chose to make up for lost time by devoting himself entirely to learning the art of music and guitar playing.  Throughout his high school years, Zeb took at least two lessons per week from a variety of different guitar instructors, and became an instructor himself by age 16.

At age 17, Zeb released his first professional CD with Brick House, one of the first bands he played with.  Brick House went on to release a second album two years later, which received a great deal of press and airplay in the seacoast NH area.  While playing with Brick House, Zeb was honored to open for many national acts, including Maceo Parker, Semisonic, Corey Glover (lead singer of Living Colour), and one of his all-time favorite blues guitar players, Chris Duarte.

While all this was going on, he began to develop an interest in jazz and fusion musicians like Mike Stern, John Scofield, and Pat Metheny.  In 2001, he moved to MN to study at Musictech College, and received his AAS degree in guitar performance in 2003, graduating at the top of his class in the elite Artist Diploma program.  After Musictech became McNally Smith College of Music in 2005, Zeb returned to school for a bachelor’s degree, which he earned in 2007. A few years later, he and a few fellow McNally Smith alumni recorded an album of Zeb’s original jazz and fusion compositions, titled “Long Time Coming”.

In addition to studying jazz and fusion, he also learned a great deal about acoustic fingerstyle and classical guitar during his time at music school.  This led to the formation of acoustic duo Jess & Zeb, who released an album of all-original music in 2004, and performed all over MN, WI, and NH together for almost 15 years.

As much as he loves writing and performing original music, Zeb also enjoys playing music by classic rock and blues artists who have inspired him since the beginning of his musical career.  His passion for music of the ‘60s and ‘70s led to the formation of The Blues Machine in 2005, which later became The Brute Squad in 2011, and performed all over the twin cities metro area, right up until he moved back to his home state of NH in September of 2019, and plan to continue playing reunion shows during each of Zeb’s MN visits.

After 18 years of teaching and performing music in MN, Zeb is now back to doing the same in NH. To find out where Zeb is playing, or for more information on guitar lessons, check out the “Calendar” and “Lessons” pages!