PERCUSSIONIST IMPROVISOR COMPOSER
Percussionist, improvisor and composer Michael Zerang was born in 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. He has co-founded and performed with the musical groups Liof Munimula, The Neutrino Orchestra, Trio Troppo, The Wonderfuls, The Blue Angels, Sam Pappas' Tumbling Strains, Frozen Lucy, The Quirt Quintet, Musica Menta, The Vandermark Quartet, Dream Cheese, The Sputter Ensemble, In Zenith, and Broken Wire . In addition to these ensembles, Zerang currently performs with many innovative musicians including AACM co-founder Fred Anderson, Mats Gustafsson, Raymond Strid, Sten Sandell, Don Meckley, Jaap Blonk, Daniel Scanlan, Peter Brötzmann, Kent Kessler, Barre Phillips, Jim Baker, Hamid Drake, Ken Vandermark, Luc Hautkamp, and Fred Lonberg-Holm. He has recorded for Okka Disc, boxMEDIA, Kontrans, Southport, Quinnah, Eighth Day Music, Garlic, and Platypus, labels as well as many others.
Zerang has been commissioned to write over 100 musical / sound compositions in collaboration with choreographers, theater companies, performance artists, new music ensembles, and film & video makers. In 1996 and 1998 Zerang received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for original music composition for his work on Redmoon Theater's mask and puppet version of FRANKENSTEIN and THE BALLAD OF FRANKIE AND JOHNNY that both premiered at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago.
Zerang has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique and sound design as related to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College and Northwestern University, courses in Composer - Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University, and music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House. He has held workshops in improvisational music and extended percussion techniques. He teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.
Zerang founded the Link's Hall Performance Series in November 1985 and functioned as artistic director until 1989. Link's Hall continues to present experimental music, modern dance, traditional ethnic folk music, poetry and fiction readings, and performance art events. He also curated events at Club Lower Link's, a venue for experimental arts in Chicago from 1987-1989. Zerang continues to present experimental music programs at various venues in Chicago. He is the past Board president for the Experimental Sound Studio of Chicago, and current Board member of Link's Hall Inc., The Curious Theater Branch, and The Children's School of Evanston.
In 1995 and 1998 Zerang received a grant from The Chicago Artists International Program and traveled to Stockholm to perform and record with some of Sweden's most innovative musicians and, in 98 to Switzerland, Germany and Holland with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. He has received grants from The Illinois Arts Council, The Chicago Office of Fine Arts, Arts Midwest, and The Regional Artist Project Grant.