Zachary R. Hoeft was a popular figure in the amateur bluegrass scene in Bloomington, IL. Known to his friends as Zac Straw, he was a staple at jams and festivals, especially among those that tended toward the more progressive, Grateful Dead-oriented type of grass. He was an avid picker, and a devoted follower of the music.
But his life was cut short at 28 on September 25 of this year in an unexplained act of violence while he was visiting in Columbus, OH. Police were called around 1:00 a.m. to a McDonalds restaurant, where Zac was found shot, lying in the drive-through lane alongside the building. He was taken to the hospital but did not survive.
No suspects were identified for the murder, and police don’t have much information about what happened.
Next month Zac’s family and friends in Bloomington are hosting a Celebration of Life concert to hail his memory, and recall the young man who friends describe as a peaceful, loving person with a kind heart. The Henhouse Prowlers from Chicago will headline the January 4 show at The Castle Theatre, with additional performances from Unemployed Architects, No Robot, and Chicago Farmer.
Many friends knew Zac in Bloomington through the bluegrass community, but he also made friends at festivals all over the country where he often worked as a food vendor.
Tickets for the show are available through EventBrite, with all proceeds being donated to area Boys and Girls Clubs.