Chaz Salazar, Sphinx Orchestral Futurist in Residence

Chicano flutist, Chaz Salazar, employs “classical” music as a tool for social justice and community building. Race equity is at the core of his work through the intersections of performance, teaching artistry, and musical activism.

In his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, he served as the flute instructor from 2015 through 2019 for Harmony Project Phoenix, an El Sistema-inspired program. Chaz received his early musical training from a similar program called Rosie’s House: A Music Academy for Children which provides free lessons to under-resourced youth. As a performer, Chaz was a founding member of the in-home chamber music series, An Evening of Music, where he made appearances on over 30 concerts. Along with performances at churches, community centers, hospitals, and retirement homes, Chaz has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony as a substitute musician.

In his efforts to decolonize the field, he has collaborated with multiple organizations including the Sphinx Organization, Quinteto Latino, Voices Unheard, and the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation. As the 2020 National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F) Sphinx Futurist Fellow, Chaz designed and launched the Youth Mentorship Program (YMP) to catalyze racial equity in the orchestral ecosystem so that local BIPOC high school musicians can have access to the resources and assets of the summer festival. Mentees were paired with members of the NOI+F Philharmonic as their Mentors and participated in four main artistic components: observation of rehearsals, private instruction, masterclasses, and sharing and listening sessions.

A proud first-generation college graduate, Chaz earned his B.M. and M.M. from Arizona State University and an Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).

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