Zach Brock

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

2013 is proving a landmark year for Brock as he tours as co-leader with renowned pianist/composer Phil Markowitz, appears in festivals world-wide with the Stanley Clarke Band, and premiers new classical works by Laurie Altman and Preston Stahly. Zach Brock and The Magic Number will join New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Stephanie Nilles at the Vienna Jazz Festival in June. Brock is also featured on Downbeat Poll winner Wycliffe Gordon’s February 2013 CD release The Intimate Ellington: Ballads and Blues.

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. [+]