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Zach Brock

Zach Brock, jazz violinist and composer, is forging a unique musical identity with “audacious ingenuity and masterful command of his instrument,” says Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times. Distinguished jazz critic Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune writes that Zach Brock is a violinist “whose every phrase argues for the instrument’s value in 21st century jazz.” Neil Tesser echoes, “Zach Brock is the pre- eminent improvising violinist of his generation.”

2013 is proving a landmark year for Brock as he tours as co-leader with renowned pianist/composer Phil Markowitz, appears in festivals with the Stanley Clarke Band, and premiers new classical works by Laurie Altman and Preston Stahly. In August Brock was named “2013 Rising Star Violinist” by Downbeat Magazine.

Zach’s debut recording for the Dutch label Criss Cross Jazz, Almost Never Was, was listed as one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Jazz Recordings of 2012 and features Brock with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland in a set of new originals, standards, and contemporary classics. While Criss Cross’ considerable catalog of renown jazz players stretches back to 1978, Almost Never Was is the first to be led by a violinist. In December 2012 the quartet played to a capacity audience for the album’s release at NYC’s Jazz Standard and were also featured in a live broadcast for WNYC’s Soundcheck with John Schaefer.

In 2010, alongside longtime collaborator Matt Wigton on bass and Frederick Kennedy on drums, Zach recorded The Magic Number. The trio made their international debut at the 2010 Toronto Jazz Festival and in 2012 they represented the U.S. Department of State as Arts Envoys to the Solomon Islands.

Zach’s first band, The Coffee Achievers, after recording two CDs on Brock’s Secret Fort label, performed at Carnegie Hall in 2005 at the invitation of trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas. Later that year they were invited to perform at the Ouro Preto Jazz Festival in Brazil by recommendation of MacArthur Grant recipient Patricia Barber.

As a sideman Zach has performed and recorded with many notable artists such as bass legend Stanley Clarke, brass virtuoso Wycliffe Gordon, the neo-funk band Snarky Puppy, bassist/ composer/Greenleaf recording artist Matt Ulery, and singer- songwriter/cellist Ben Solle.

Born in Lexington, KY, Zach grew up in a family of musicians and was performing publicly by the age of six. From a background in classical and folk music, Zach became serious about studying jazz while in high school. He moved to Chicago with the dual goal of furthering his classical studies at Northwestern University, while embracing the city’s rich jazz scene. He relocated to New York City in 2005.

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2013 Downbeat Critics Poll Winner - Rising Star, Jazz Violin

2005 to 2011 Downbeat Reader’s Poll “Rising Star” Violin Category

2005 Dave Douglas Residency at Carnegie Hall

2002 Betty Carter’s “Jazz Ahead” Residency at Kennedy Center

2000 National Endowment For The Humanities and The Smithsonian Institution Grant


Thomastik-Infeld, AER, Ithaca Stringed Instruments, Coda Bows

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Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune "Violinists always have been marginalized in jazz, notwithstanding the silken beauty of Stephane Grappelli's work and the historic contributions of Joe Venuti, Eddie South, Ray Nance and others. For this reason, and others, we should give thanks for the deepening contributions of Brock, whose every phrase argues for the instrument's value in 21st century jazz. Though Brock commands plenty of technique and a vibrantly attractive sound, it's the substance of his musical ideas that commands the most attention. You can hear as much on every track of "Almost Never Was," from the sprightly pizzicato passages of his "Common Ground" to the atmospheric effects of Joe Henderson's "Black Narcissus," from the soulful utterances of "You've Changed" (you'd swear he was playing a viola) to the gorgeous melody line of the title track, a Brock original. The violinist partners effectively with pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland, but it's Brock's soaring lyricism that defines this recording."

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Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

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Concert Schedule

Apr 30 Sun
Zach Brock
Andrea Clearfield's Salon
Philadelphia, PA

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Empire Central

GroundUP Music


Dime Dancing: The...

Shifting Paradigm Records



Woolgathering Records


Delicate Charms

Woolgathering Records



GroundUP Music



Criss Cross




Ray Brown
bass, acoustic
Ari Brown
saxophone, tenor
Marcus Shelby
bass, acoustic

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