Zach Harmon was born into a musical family in Wisconsin. He began studying piano at the age of three and continued for thirteen years. He started playing the drum set at age fifteen and quickly gravitated towards improvised music. In 2003, Zach became a member of the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars with whom he toured Japan and performed at the 2003 Monterey Jazz Festival. Also in 2003, he enrolled in the Thornton School of Music at USC where he studied with the great Terri Lyne Carrington for two years.
After his sophomore year, he transferred to the Masters program at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz where he studied with Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Haden, Wallace Roney, Benny Golson, Robert Hurst, Lewis Nash, and many others. In 2005, as a member of the Monk Institute, he toured with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, performing in a cultural outreach program throughout Vietnam. In 2007, he toured again with Mr. Shorter and Mr. Hancock, this time throughout India.
Zach has been studying tabla with Abhiman Kaushal and recorded tabla on Terence Blanchard’s A Tale of God’s Will for Blue Note Records (the album, which reflects on the events of Hurricane Katrina, won a Grammy for best large ensemble). Over the years, as a versatile drummer and percussionist, Zach has performed with artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Charles Altura, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Billy Childs, Yoonseung Cho, Romain Collin, Chris Dingman, John Doe, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Angel Luís Figueroa, Lázaro Galarraga, Sara Gazarek, Larry Goldings, Tim Green, Tigran Hamasyan, John Harmon, Noah Harmon, Geoffrey Keezer, Kris Kristofferson, Abe Laboriel, Sr., Greg Leisz, Nick Mancini, Artyom Manukyan, Josh Nelson, Gabe Noel, Vardan Ovsepian, John Pizzarelli, Austin Peralta, John C. Reilly, Nell Robinson, Otmaro Ruiz, Joe Sanders, Gina Saputo, Anoushka Shankar, Walter Smith III, Terrell Stafford, Dayna Stephens, Strangeloop, Bobby Wilmore, Anthony Wilson and many others.
Notable venues at which Zach has performed include: Birdland, NYC; Blue Note, Nagoya & NYC; Freight & Salvage, Berkeley; Jazz Alley, Seattle; Jazz at the Bistro, St. Louis; Jazz Gallery, NYC; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.; Joe's Pub at The Public, NYC; The Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach; Rainbow Bar and Grill, Los Angeles; Ravi Shankar Institute, New Delhi; REDCAT, Los Angeles; Regattabar, Cambridge; Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi; Sunset-Sunside, Paris; World Stage, Los Angeles; Yoshi's, Oakland & San Francisco
Zach continues to perform, record, compose and teach around the world.