Wanees zarour | Bio



Born in Ramallah, Palestine.  Wanees Zarour, a buzuq player, violinist, composer and educator, started his musical training in both Middle Eastern and western traditions at the age of 7.  Demonstrating extraordinary abilities on his instruments, Wanees was featured in major musical festivals and concerts around the world.  Specialized in Maqam music and well versed in musical traditions ranging from free jazz to Eastern European folk, Wanees’s compositions and works involve traditional instrumentation and unique arrangements, with an emphasis on the classical Maqam system unique to the Middle East.  The virtuosity he demonstrates on the buzuq makes him one of the most skilled buzuq players in his region.

Based in Chicago, Wanees currently holds the position of lecturer and director of the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago.  He also teaches Middle Eastern music at the Old Town School of Folk Music as well as other educational institutions.  Wanees holds regular lectures and workshops in universities around the U.S including the University of Chicago, St. Xavier University, DePaul University, University of Pittsburgh and others.

Wanees leads and works with several ensembles in Chicago including Hisar Ensemble, Duzan Ensemble, as well as the Wanees Zarour Ensemble performing his works. Wanees’s works have been performed in key festivals and venues such as the Chicago World Music Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, and Millennium Park.