“a funky, well oiled machine”
hailing from winnipeg; ottawa based percussionist zac pulak studied at the university of ottawa under the tutelage of jonathan wade and kenneth simpson, receiving an undergraduate degree in 2014.
since then, zac has worked with world class organizations such as the national arts centre, ottawa international chamberfest, and scotia festival of music, among many others. zac has completed artist residencies at the banff centre for arts and creativity, SMU (dallas, tx), and vormingscentrum destelheide (belgium). recently, zac was featured as one of CBC’s 30 hot canadian classical musicians under 30.
in his work as a freelance orchestral musician zac has performed with the national arts centre orchestra, thirteen strings chamber orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of ottawa, thunder bay, and winnipeg.
as an emerging artist zac is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the city of ottawa’s youth in culture pilot program grant (2016, 2017, 2018), a 2019 ARTicipate endowment fund grant, and an ontario arts council chalmers professional development grant (2018-2019) which funded a mentorship with canadian percussion virtuoso beverley johnston. in 2020 zac was shortlisted for the ottawa arts council’s RBC emerging artists of the year.
dedicated to the creation and dissemination of new and rarefied sounds, zac’s piano/percussion duo SHHH!! ensemble (with pianist edana higham) is focussed on developing new repertoire for their seldom explored ensemble. praised for their “truly virtuosic and intense playing” (confluence concerts), edana and zac are passionate advocates for contemporary music. together they have toured nationally, performing music by some of canada’s most creative voices.
other recent highlights include performing alongside the gryphon trio and national arts centre musicians in the world premiere of rob kapilow’s new octet après maman, the world premiere of jocelyn morlock’s spirit gradient, and a SHHH!! ensemble live-for-broadcast recital recording with CBC radio 2.
zac is an artist/endorser of SABIAN cymbals.