Christopher Zuar

Christopher Zuar's compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally by the WDR Big Band, Danish Radio Big Band, and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra among others.

Zuar recently released Exuberance, his second full-length studio album. The 60-minute song cycle consists of seven interwoven compositions performed by the Christopher Zuar Orchestra and featured guest soloists. The album was conceived in collaboration with animation filmmaker Anne Beal, whose hand-painted animations accompany the music. Jazz pianist Fred Hersch describes Exuberance as “...a mature statement by a great composer in his prime, performed by a stellar ensemble with passion and care.”

Zuar has garnered numerous awards and commissions. He is the recipient of the 2021 Symphonic Jazz Orchestra Commissioning Prize, the 2020 Copland House Residency Award, the 2020 Airmen of Note Sammy Nestico Award, the 2020 SCI Jazz Composition Award, the 2016 ASCAP Foundation Johnny Mandel Prize, the 2015 First Music Commission from the New York Youth Symphony, and is the five-time recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer's Award. Zuar is a two-time MacDowell fellow and 2018 Corporation of Yaddo Guest.

Zuar holds a bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a master of music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, both in jazz composition. His debut album, Musings, a collection of seven original compositions for large ensemble, was released on Sunnyside Records in 2016. The record has received broad critical acclaim, including a spot on DownBeat magazine's "Best Albums of 2016", and runner-up "Debut of The Year" in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Zuar recently joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music where he teaches jazz composition and arranging.

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