Michael Zilber

Michael Zilber, a San Francisco-based saxophonist/composer, is described by David Liebman, NEA Jazz Master, as “one the most talented players and composers anywhere.” He is a Canadian-born ex-New Yorker who has 10 albums as either a leader or coleader. To name a few, he has recorded or performed with many, including Miroslav Vitous to Liebman, Mike Clark, Dizzy Giillespie, Mike Clark, and Bob Berg. Zilber was a drummer with Steve Smith for eighteen years and released the top 20 album Reimagined Jazz Standards, Volume 1. in 2003. He has been a partner with John Stowell for the past decade. Most recently, they collaborated on Basement Blues 2016, which Dan McClenaghan called “as compelling, modernistic, and compelling as any band out there.” Zilber is described as “soulful” and “perfect”. Their 2015 Origin Records recording, Live Beauty, was named DownBeat’s best of 2015 and received rave reviews from JazzTimes as well as All About Jazz. The album was a follow up to “Shoot Through With Beauty”, which Andrew Gilbert, NPR jazz critic, voted the best record of 2015. On Turning Ten, The Billy Collins Project provided musical settings for the American poet Laureate’s poetry. Bill Milkowski, a jazz journalist, praised the project as “work of art in the highest order” and Zilber is currently leading his “Originals for the Originals,” which will release an Origin album with the same name. It will feature prominent sidemen Dave Kikoski (James Genus) and Clarence Penn. Zilber is also the leader of Weather Wayne, an electric jazz tribute to Wayne Shorter. He recently played to a sold-out house at SFJAZZ. Zilber also plays in various side projects including Erik Jekabson’s Stringtet (the top Trumpet/composer) and the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (the SF-based Electric Squeezebox Orchestra). The highly-acclaimed big band of this composer has just released Cheap Rent. It received 4.5 stars in DownBeat. He is based in Berkeley, California and leads the Jazzschool Jazz Workshop that has won multiple DownBeat awards. He also oversees the composition program at the California Jazz Conservatory. Zilber is a NYU doctorate in composition. from www.michaelzilber.com

Leave a Comment