I was born in Chicago, Illinois, 1958, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. I am a professional musician, composer, producer, and educator since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.
As an ensemble member, I have worked in a concentrated fashion with several small and large groups over the years, contributing as a composer and performer, including Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Liof Munimula, Survival Unit III, Brötzmann/McPhee/Kessler/Zerang Quartet, Resonance Ensemble, Friction Brothers, and The Winter Solstice Concerts with Hamid Drake – an annual event in Chicago since 1990.
As an instrumentalist and composer, I have over ninety titles in my discography, and have toured and performed nationally and internationally to 35 countries since 1981. I continue to work with and ever-widening pool of collaborators. I have also collaborated extensively with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms.
I have received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Original Music for Theater in 1996 for Frankenstein, 1998 for The Ballad of Frankie and Johnny, and 2000 for Hunchback – all in collaboration with Chicago’s REDMOON THEATER.
As an arts activist, I have sat on the Board of Directors of several Chicago- based arts organizations including Links Hall, Experimental Sound Studio, Curious Theater Branch, and The Children’s School, as well as in an advisory capacity for The Elastic Arts Foundation.