John Zorn

The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is "prolific," in the strictest sense of the definition. Though he didn't begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn is a cornerstone of New York's fabled and influential downtown scene. In addition, he has played with musicians of every stripe. He is also a musical gadfly: genre purity, and pursuing the ends by which it is defined, are meaningless in Zorn's sound world, thus making him a quintessential mirror of 21st century culture. He has mentored countless musicians in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has broadened the exposure of many other artists stateside via his Tzadik label. His compositions have been performed by hundreds of artists, including the Kronos Quartet and Medeski, Martin & Wood. In addition, he has composed literally dozens of film scores. He has been the subject of books and documentary films, as well.