One of the most virtuosic and emotive voices of contemporary jazz violin, Zach Brock has followed a path which embraces not only jazz, but also classical, world, and popular music. From critical acclaim as a bandleader to international exposure in collaborations with Stanley Clarke, Grazyna Auguscik, and Frank Vignola, Zach continues to gain admiration from both jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike. Zach’s repertoire includes re-workings of songs by Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Phil Markowitz, and Zbigniew Seifert, in addition to an evolving catalogue of his own compositions. His latest CD The Magic Number, with bassist Matt Wigton and drummer Fred Kennedy, offers a telling glimpse of why Zach is being heralded as “‘the pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation.’ (Neil Tesser, Chicago Examiner).”
Born in Lexington, Brock grew up in a family of musicians and was performing publicly by the age of six. He became serious about jazz while in high school and moved to Chicago to continue his classical studies with the ulterior motive of participating in the city’s jazz scene. As a sophomore in college, Brock was in a serious car accident that sidelined him for three years. By the time he was able to finish his degree, Brock had already launched headlong into his professional career.
In 2005 The Coffee Achievers, Brock’s first quartet, made their Carnegie Hall debut at the invitation of trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas. Six months later they played at the Ouro Preto Jazz Festival in Brazil. Zach moved to New York a few months later and the second chapter of his early career began.
The Magic Number, Zach’s first recording as leader since 2007, distinguishes itself immediately through its unusual instrumentation: an acoustic trio that counterbalances the absence of a chordal instrument with the addition of wordless vocal harmonies, pitched percussion, and extended instrumental techniques. It is the first recording of Zach’s to feature his own compositions alongside classic and modern jazz standards and it was funded entirely by fans’ donations made through the micro-funding website Kickstarter. The title of the CD was inspired by Zach’s recent work as a sideman with the iconic Bob Dorough, a Miles Davis collaborator and Schoolhouse Rock! originator. The trio made their international debut at the 2010 Toronto Jazz Festival.
Zach Brock also tours and records with a diverse roster of artists that includes Stanley Clarke, The Magic Number, Frank Vignola, and Snarky Puppy.