Born: September 27, 1980 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Tenor & soprano saxophonist, vocalist and composer, Samir Zarif began his professional career in New Orleans. Originally from Houston, Texas, when Zarif moved to New Orleans, he first began performing regularly in the Jason Marsalis Quintet as well as with many other musicians including Ellis Marsalis and Nicholas Payton. Before leaving New Orleans, Samir Zarif also became a pioneering member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) and soon after, recorded the orchestra’s debut CD, “Strange Fruit,” released on Basin Street Records.
After departing from New Orleans to live in New York, Samir Zarif attended the Manhattan School of Music where he helped form The Paislies, a sextet that went on to tour throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2006, The Paislies released it’s first CD on the Fresh Sounds, New Talent Record Label. However, soon after it’s release, Zarif shifted his focus on a new group of musicians later to be named The Story. From 2006 to the present The Story has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe performing at such venues as The Bimhuis (Amsterdam), Pizza Express (London), The Jazz Gallery (New York), and Upstairs (Montreal). In 2009, The Story released it’s Debut CD and is continuing to gain prestige around the world.
In January 2011, Zarif released his first recording as a leader entitled Starting Point on Mythology Records (David Binney's record label). Incorporating traditional & modern jazz with his passion for singing & songwriting in the genre of electronic and alternative music, Zarif has deemed his music as “Jazz Alternative.” This sub-genre on the jazz scene has become the niche that has made Samir Zarif a special addition to not only the jazz scene but also within the realm of the singer/songwriting’s world as well.
In addition his own working band which has featured many outstanding artists like Mike Moreno, Colin Stranahan & Nir Felder, Samir Zarif also currently tours and performs with Maria Neckam, The Story, Greg Ritchie, Hans Glawischnig Trio, Sam Steele & Milan and many others.