Zach Brock, with Stephanie Nilles and Thomas Deakin

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“The pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation.” – Neil Tesser

About Zach Brock

Heralded as “the pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation,” Zach Brock is a violinist and composer whose music draws on the traditions of jazz, classical, world, and popular music. Zach received a Grammy Award in 2017 for his work on Snarky Puppy’s album Culcha Vulcha and Downbeat Magazine named him the ‘Rising star Violinist’ of 2013.

His acclaim as a bandleader has grown through appearances at venues such as Carnegie Hall and festivals like “Tudo é Jazz” in Brazil, while his reputation as a sideman has spread through his work with legendary bassist Stanley Clarke, contemporary instrumental super-group Snarky Puppy, and jazz masters Phil Markowitz and Wycliffe Gordon.

Zach has made ten recordings as a leader or co-leader and is the first violinist to record for the venerable Dutch jazz label Criss Cross. Zach has also represented the U.S. Department of State as a Musical Ambassador in the Solomon Islands, has performed as a featured soloist for two Sundance Festival feature film scores, and is currently an “Artist In Residence” at Temple University in Philadelphia.

About Stephanie Nilles and Thomas Deakin

Chicago-born jazz/punk/barrelhouse musician Stephanie Nilles blew audiences away when she played Ireland for the first time in 2016. Averaging 150 gigs a year through the US, Canada and Europe, Stephanie captivates listeners with a voice that would make Jelly Roll Morton look orthodox and Ma Rainey look sober.

Having studied piano and cello since the age of six, Stephanie was a finalist at the Young Concert Artists’ International Competition, a gold medalist at the Fischoff Competition, and had performed on NPR on three separate occasions by the age of seventeen. At twenty-two, she graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a degree in classical piano performance and temporarily relocated to New York City, where she began writing songs and performed regularly on the east village anti-folk scene.

She has since sung with Bobby McFerrin in Carnegie Hall, directed the musical program of a Brooklyn burlesque series, covered Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck” in the skeletal remains of a bombed-out cathedral in Nuremberg, been invited to perform official showcases at SXSW and International Folk Alliance, and self-released 4 full-length albums, two of which were picked up for European release by German roots/blues label Tradition und Moderne (Taj Mahal, John Fahey).

Rolling Stone magazine once described Stephanie as “Ella Fitzgerald beating the s**t out of Regina Spektor”.

Thomas Deakin is a multi instrumentalist based out of the American Pacific Northwest. He can be found playing cornet in New Orleans, saxophone in New York, clarinet in currently Spanish Occupied Basque Territories, or tuba in the living room. He is a wild tone enthusiast, seeker of bridges, tunnels, acoustic forests, echo glens, and underpasses the world over. A stylistic generalist, he is thrilled to bring the full measure of his experience to the music of Stephanie Nilles.

Stephanie and Thomas met at a music and circus guild festival in 2015 and have been sporadically making music together out on the road in jazz clubs, cafes, diners, and unsuspecting people’s living rooms ever since.