Born in Ramallah, Palestine. Wanees Zarour, a composer, buzuq player, violinist and educator, started his musical training in both Middle Eastern and western traditions at the age of 7.
Demonstrating extraordinary skill on his instruments, Zarour 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 Zarour is currently the director of the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, a 50 piece orchestra dedicated to the performance and study of a wide range of Middle Eastern music traditions, including Arab, Turkish and Persian. Zarour holds master classes, residencies and lectures in universities and educational institutions throughout the United States. In addition, he is a faculty member at the Old Town School of Folk Music, occasionally teaches Maqam Theory and Middle Eastern Rhythm.
Wanees Zarour leads, composes and performs with several ensembles including Duzan Ensemble, the Wanees Zarour Ensemble, and others. He has recorded with important musicians and groups around the world. Zarour released his newest album ‘Quarter to Midnight’ in 2014