Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Shahzad Ismaily (US)

Shahzad Ismaily was born to Pakistani immigrant parents in the US and grew up in a wholly bicultural household. Parallel to his master’s degree in biochemistry at Arizona State University, he has largely didactically learned to play the electric and double bass, guitar, banjo, accordion, flute, drums, various percussion instruments and various analog synthesizers and drum machines and quickly appeared as a composer and guest musician in various contexts. He has worked among others with Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland, Laura Veirs, Bonnie Prince Billy, John Zorn, Marianne Faithfull, Elvis Costello and Marc Ribot.

Shahzad Ismaily has studied music extensively from Pakistan, India, Turkey, Mexico, Santiago, Japan, Indonesia, Morocco and Iceland and has integrated these influences into his own work. He also composes regularly for dance and theater, including Min Tanaka, the Frankfurt Ballet and the East River Commedia. He recently created the score for the critically acclaimed movie Frozen River, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. He was also an Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco in 2008. Shahzad Ismaily currently lives and works in New York.

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