Born in 1977, Per Zanussi grew up in Stavanger, Norway with an Italian father and Norwegian mother. He started playing various instruments at five but picked up the bass at 13 playing in rock bands. After discovering jazz he quickly switched to double bass.
In 1996, while still a student in Trondheim he founded the electronic project Wibutee together with Håkon Kornstad and Wetle Holte.This outfit recorded 3 albums with Zanussi and toured most of the world in the following years.
In 2001 he founded his longest lasting project to date, Zanussi 5, playing Zanussi's compositions in an acoustic format. This group has recorded 2 albums and 2 more are on their way: One as a quintet and one as a version of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, a twelve piece group.
Zanussi has a Masters degree in music from the Conservatory in Trondheim and the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, concentrating on double bass and composition.His compositional work has so far resulted in music for prize winning theatre and dance performances and short films as well as comissions for Trondheim Jazz Orchestra/Zanussi 5 and Stavanger's Kitchen Orchestra
In addition to Zanussi Five he is a member of MZN3, Trespass Trio (with Martin Kuchen and Raymond Strid), Crimetime Orchestra and several other projects.
Zanussi has recorded or played on occasion with Hamid Drake, Louis Moholo, Paal Nilssen-Love, Bobby Bradford, Frode Gjerstad, Sabir Mateen, Franklin Kiermyer, Stephen O'Malley, Axel Dörner, Klas Nevrin, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sten Sandell, Mats Gustafsson, Seijiro Muriyama, Raymond Strid, Sten Åke Holmlander, Kjetil Møster, David Stackenäs, Kjell Nordeson, Terrie Ex, Kevin Norton, Ivar Grydeland, Ernesto Rodrigues, Tetuzi Akiyama, Håvard Wiik and others.