Christopher Zuar Orchestra

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“... a remarkably original compositional language... Musings does what all great music is supposed to do: it moves the listener and provokes the kind of introspection that is the source of all creative experiences. It is for anyone who appreciates drama, beauty, spontaneity, and a flash of genius gifted from the gods.” 
– Mike Holober  



Dave Pietro / Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute

Ben Kono / Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet

Jason Rigby / Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet

Lucas Pino / Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet

Brian Landrus / Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet


Tony Kadleck Jon Owens Mat Jodrell Matt Holman


Tim Albright Matt McDonald Alan Ferber Max Seigel


Pete McCann / Electric & Acoustic Guitar

Frank Carlberg / Piano & Fender Rhodes

John Hebert / Acoustic & Electric Bass

Mark Ferber / Drums

Rogerio Boccato / Percussion

Jo Lawry / Voice 

christopher zuar


Christopher Zuar’s music has been performed by the WDR Big Band, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and New York Youth Symphony Jazz among others.

Feeling at home writing both contemporary jazz and classical, Zuar’s music has been hailed by acclaimed pianist and composer Mike Holober as “...clever, intuitive, engaging, accessible and ultimately beautiful.” His compositions explore rich harmonies, lyrical melodies, and atmospheric textures that combine to create a compositional voice wholly his own.

Zuar has garnered numerous awards and commissions.  He is the recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer’s Award (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017), the First Music Commission from the New York Youth Symphony (2011, 2012 and 2015), the 2016 ASCAP Johnny Mandel Prize, and reached the finals in the 2013 Brussels Jazz Orchestra International Jazz Composition Competition. His most recent work, Native Tongue, received its premiere by the NYYS Jazz in May of 2016 in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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.  Most recently, Zuar assembled a world-class group of musicians to record his debut album, Musings, a collection of eight original compositions for large ensemble. The recording was released on Sunnyside Records, and has gone on to receive 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 is a 2017 MacDowell Fellow, and 2018 Corporation of Yaddo Guest.


 PHOTO: Colleen Chrzanowski

PHOTO: Colleen Chrzanowski




All About Jazz - Dan Bilawsky 4.5 stars

"...artfully crafted and expertly rendered by a forward-thinking jazz orchestra…"


Audiophile Audition - Jeff Krow 4.5 stars

"…a masterful blend of modern classical and jazz… Zuar’s compositions soar with a richness and beauty that demand reflection and leave a deep sense of serenity."


downbeat - yoshi kato 4 stars 

“...Musings is an impressively accomplished debut."


Jazzdagama - Raul da gama

"Musings will likely go down as one of the most celebrated large ensemble recordings made this year... Christopher Zuar, who is responsible for this devilishly good recording is prodigiously gifted, an idiomatic and virtuoso writer who seems to dream in every instrument represented here.



Christopher Zuar Orchestra

Musings CD Release Concert 

The Jazz Gallery

April 7, 2016 7:30 PM


Native Tongue Premiere 

Jazz at Lincoln Center/The Appel Room

May 16, 2016 7:30 PM

Jazz composers showcase vol. 7

Curated by Miho Hazama w/ Michael Thomas and Joel Harrison 

The Jazz Gallery

November 14, 2016 7:30 PM


Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space

December 15, 2016 7:30 PM

This, now

11 piece chamber ensemble featuring Dave Liebman

The Cave at St George's

April 20, 2017 7:30 PM

Christopher Zuar Nonet

Tonal Conversations’ Premier, with animation by Anne Beal

150 Media Stream

October 25, 2018 6:30 PM



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