Wanees Zarour

Wanees Zarour
Director, Middle East Music Ensemble


Trained in both Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions, violinist and buzuq virtuoso Wanees Zarour specializes in Maqam music and is well versed in genres from jazz to Eastern European folk. The composer, educator, and performer of Middle Eastern music teaches Middle Eastern Rhythms, Maqam Theory, and other subjects and holds master classes, residencies and lectures at Universities and educational institutions around the United States. 

Off campus, Wanees Zarour leads and composes for several groups including the Wanees Zarour Ensemble and East Loop, and co-directs the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra with guitarist Fareed Haque. He has been featured in major festivals in the United States, Europe and the Middle East and has recorded with several renowned artists. Zarour recently released his newest album, “Quarter to Midnight" featuring some of his compositional works, anchored around the maqam system and highlighting several Western and South American influences, as well as releases with East Loop, blending Maqam and Black-American music traditions.

Zarour joined the performance program in 2010 and directs the Middle East Music Ensemble, a 45 piece orchestra dedicated to the study and performance of Middle Eastern music.