A Conversation with Zach Brock

Jul 18, 2019 | News, Off the Hook Arts

Off the Hook Arts’ Summerfest 2019 has come and gone, having treated Fort Collins residents to a mixture of science talks, comedy, and even magic. Above all else, one major aspect of Summerfest that must not go overlooked was the concert series. 

This series brought dozens of musicians to town to play for audiences. Among them were some of the most talented musicians in the world, like Zach Brock.

Zach Brock is a well-renowned and reviewed violinist for his excellent playing skills. He earned a Grammy award in 2017, working with the band Snarky Puppy on their album “Culcha Vulcha”, and he has traveled the world playing at dozens of venues over the years. 

However, he doesn’t want all of that to define him. He hopes that his music will tell audiences something deeper about himself. 

“Everyone ultimately would love to not be known by what they play or what they do but by who we are,” he said. “Whether or not we’re playing an instrument or are a vocalist or composer, we’re ultimately trying to express something that I think one would hope would transcend all of that.”

Zach primarily performs jazz compositions through the medium of his violin, including many improvisational techniques common in the genre. He’s been playing the violin for the vast majority of his life, since early in his childhood, but his aspirations have changed majorly over the years.

  “Some people, their main goal in life may be to be a shredding guitar player, you know,” he said. “Maybe 20 years ago all I wanted to be known by was as that on the violin. But I think the older I get, I just want to have real creative human connections with people in my lifetime, and be able to bring truthful music, whatever that might be.”

The music that he performed for Summerfest during an “Art Chat” was partially improvised, and another concert – performed alongside vocalist Cordelia Tapper, bassist Myles Sloniker, and pianist Mark Sloniker at Jay’s Bistro in Old Town – touted the fact that these four had never truly played as a group before, and yet were able to perform as a cohesive unit.

An immense thank you to Zach Brock for dedicating his time to sit down and talk with us, we hope to see you again soon!

Written By Graham Shapley