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 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, Zarour’s compositions and works involve both traditional and non-traditional instrumentation and 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 of his region.
Based in Chicago, Wanees Zarour 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 US.
Zarour leads and works with several ensembles in Chicago including Hisar Ensemble, Duzan Ensemble, and the Wanees Zarour Ensemble performing his works. Zarour’s works have been performed in key festivals and venues in the US and internationally. Zarour has released an album ‘Quarter to Midnight’ in 2014 featuring some of his original compositional works.