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Umar Zakaria

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Umar Zakaria is a New Zealand bassist and composer filled with hope for the future. His music unites diverse musical traditions, in an effort to inspire communication and cooperation across ideological boundaries. As a jazz bassist, Umar has performed in the United States and the Netherlands as well as in New Zealand. Notably, he has performed with Bob Moses (US), Hagai Bilitzky (Israel), Rob van Bavel (Netherlands), Snorre Kirk (Denmark), Magnus Hjorth (Sweden), Steve Barry (NZ), and Mark Lockett (NZ) among others. A student of legendary bassists Lynn Seaton and Cecil McBee, he was awarded 2nd place at the BASS2014 International Jazz Bass Competition and is an alumni of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Fellowship held annually at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His innovative compositions and arrangements finely tread traditional boundaries of genre and style. These pieces have been performed and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the New Zealand School of Music Big Band. Having developed a reputation for emotionally stirring performances, Umar now seeks to cultivate an international performance career in order to spread his message of consciousness in thought and feeling.