Rob Mazurek is an electro-acoustic composer, cornetist, improviser and visual artist living in Chicago, Illinois.
Mazurek composes for and performs in the numerous ensembles he leads, including Exploding Star Orchestra, Pharoah and the Underground, Chicago Underground, Pulsar Quartet, Sao Paulo Underground, Skull Sessions Octet, Sound Is Quintet, and Starlicker. He performs regularly in North and South America and in Europe with these and other critically acclaimed ensembles, each of which has its own distinct musical personality. Mazurek’s diverse interests and abilities have led to collaborations with a wide variety of luminaries, such as Bill Dixon, Pharoah Sanders, Roscoe Mitchell, Yusef Lateef, Fred Anderson, Nana Vasconcelos, Mike Ladd and others.
Mazurek has over 200 original compositions and has released 46 recordings on various labels including Aesthetics, Cuneiform, Delmark, Rogue Art, Family Vineyard, Mego, Northern Spy, Submarine, Thrill Jockey and his own label, Infinity Dogs. Beyond his ensemble efforts, Mazurek’s solo endeavors reflect his interest in musique concrete and electronic sound manipulation, with releases on Aesthetics, Bottrop-Boy, Delmark, Mego, Adluna and Moikai.
Mazurek’s work as a visual artist incorporates sound, painting, text and video. He has received several prestigious artist residencies to develop sound and vision works and has presented works at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, where his paintings still hang on the office walls, at the Galleria Coletivo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Abbey Royal de Fontevraud in Anjou, France, among others. In 2013, Mazurek completed four 3-D lithographs during two artist residencies at URDLA in Villeurbanne, France.
Since 1997, Mazurek has received grants, awards and commissions for new works. In 2011 and in 2013, the Sant’Anna Aressi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy commissioned the “Transgressions Suite” and the “Galactic Parables” suite for his Exploding Star Orchestra. In 2011, Mazurek was commissioned by the Jazz & Wine Festival in Cormons, Italy to compose the “Violent Orchid Suite” for a quartet featuring his Starlicker trio and flutist Nicole Mitchell. In 2010, Mazurek was awarded a New Music USA Commissioning Music/USA grant for the multi-media work The Space Between developed in collaboration with video artist and choreographer Marianne Kim.
In 2012, Mazurek received Jazz Musician of the Year in Italy’s Musica Jazz magazine and Alumni of the Year from Naperville Central High School. The August 2013 edition of The Wire magazine features Mazurek as a prolific and venerable force in new music.
In 2013, Mazurek released four new recordings: Skull Sessions (Cuneiform), Beija Flors Velho E Sujo (Cuneiform), The Space Between (Delmark) and Matter AntiMatter (Rogue Art). He has five more recordings coming in 2013. His latest work in progress is an electro-acoustic science fiction opera titled The Book of Sound.
His unwavering work ethic drives him, in his own words, “to create sound and vision that breaks barriers and creates a radical dialogue with like-minded and not-like minded souls in order to penetrate to the core of why we are here on this planet, in this universe and where we might be going. My sound and vision works play an important role in the ritual of shattering the sky of ignorance and deception that is put upon us each and every day by mass media distortion modules.”