Zubin Edalji’s introduction to music came at an early age; barely able to walk, he was volunteered by his family to begin a conservatory piano and violin curriculum. While not much for discipline at this age, Zubin was fascinated by the sounds the instruments could make — especially the piano. Immediately, he became interested in creating his own music, and particularly liked the sound of all ten fingers landing arbitrarily on the keyboard.
Once it became time to pick an instrument to learn in grade school, Zubin selected the trumpet because of its visual presence and warm sound. He slowly began to be exposed to jazz music through his first trumpet teacher, Gary Slavo — a veteran of the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Classical music, popular culture, radio, television, and movies also played a large part in Zubin’s early musical development. However, nothing had more of an effect on him than the music on recordings by Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Kenny Dorham, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, and Tom Harrell. These records were instrumental in sparking Zubin’s long-term involvement with music, and art in general.
Zubin has grown into an ambitious and versatile jazz trumpet player and composer. A finalist in the 2015 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, Zubin has performed at iconic venues like the Blue Note (New York), the Jazz Gallery (New York), the Jazz Showcase (Chicago), the Green Mill (Chicago), and the Blue Frog (Mumbai). He has also performed at international festivals like the Sienna Jazz Festival, the Matera Jazz Festival, and the Elba Jazz Festival.
As a composer, Zubin enjoys writing music for any and all settings — especially small jazz groups and big bands. He has studied with and been mentored by some of the finest musicians in the world, like Tito Carrillo, Kenny Werner, Jim Pugh, Dana Hall, Laurie Frink, Brian Lynch, Chip Stephens, Joel Spencer, Erik Lund, Stephen Taylor, and Chip McNeill; all have played an integral part in Zubin’s training, guiding the emergence of his personal musicianship — evident through his trumpet sound, original compositions, and arrangements.
A graduate of the jazz programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Doctor of Musical Arts), and New York University (Master of Music), Zubin is an active Jazz educator. He has coached jazz ensembles and taught various jazz activities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Illinois Summer Youth Music (ISYM). He has also taught and performed at a number of Illinois high schools and universities through clinics and masterclasses.
Zubin hopes that somewhere during the course of his life, his music will bring peace and swing to people.