tari playing at benaroya hall 2007

Tari's Music Life

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For performances, visit the Tari Nelson-Zagar splash page.

Tari Nelson-Zagar is a third generation violinist and improvisor whose focus is collaborating with composers, choreographers, and other creative artists. Nelson-Zagar’s involvement with contemporary music began in her late teens when she joined the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra - a freewheeling orchestra led by Kent Nagano and dedicated to performing contemporary music. Tari worked as a professional violinist in orchestras until she left the violin for the contrabass, playing with adventurous jazz and improvised music artists. Tari has lately returned to her home instrument, the violin. If anyone wants to buy a nice bass, hit the contact in the footer.

Recent work includes performances with Jesse Canterbury in a duo recital at Maybeck Recital Hall, appearance on Elizabeth Falconer’s Recital Series “Simply Sawai”, performances with Bay Area composer Ellen Fullman, West Coast appearances with quartet Cipher, and festival appearances with Thingsome Q, an improvising string quartet.

Commissions from composers include Ellen Fullman (duo for Just Intonation autoharp and violin, 2003), Al Hood (violin solo, 1999), Christian Asplund (bass/vocal solo, 1998).

Favorite collaborations include those with; Jesse Canterbury, Stuart Dempster, John Edwards (the bass player from the UK…), Liz Falconer, Viv Corringham, Tara Flandreau, Ellen Fullman, Al Hood, Wayne Horvitz, Matthew Sperry, Gebhart Uhlman, Jack Wright, and the Seattle Chainsaw Quintet. Festival appearances include several Earshot Jazz Festivals, Tonehole Festivals, Seattle Improvised Music Festivals, ArtsEdge Festival, and the Vancouver du Maurier Jazz Festival.

Tari maintains an active teaching studio, and engages students to develop excellent technical and musical abilities. Feel free to peruse the studio website.

“I am still kicking myself for going to the Kronos Quartet performance…instead of hearing violinist Tari Nelson-Zagar, who played that same night a few weeks ago.”
-Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger (Seattle)