"Variety is the spice of life" is a saying which accurately describes Zelig's craftsmanship of drumming.
From Leonard Bernstein, to Garage Punk, to Jazz, Country, Funk, Soul and Hip-Hip, Brooklyn based Uri Zelig always makes sure to set the record straight, and is always dedicated to investigating and exploring the history of each musical setting he finds himself in.
Uri Zelig was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1986, to a musical family and a rich musical community and has started playing drums and Piano at the age of 10. By the early age of 14, Zelig has played in Big Bands and performed with several groups across Israel and later Europe. In 2004, Zelig graduated from the Tel-Aviv High School For The Arts, majoring in Jazz Performance.
While studying with Rony Holan (founder and head of the Drum department in Rimon school of music), Zelig has played on numerous records and served as sideman for some of Israel’s top Jazz, Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop and Punk artists (Ariel Zilber, Shlomo Ydov, Oshik Levi, Ilan Virtzberg, Ifat Netz, Quami De La Fox, Daniela Spector and Cohen@Mushon to name a few) and has been teaching privately for several years.
Before reaching 20, Zelig has gained experience as a singer and percussionist in choirs and orchestras and had performed in the prestigious “Red Sea Jazz Festival”, “Abu-Gosh Festival” and later in Israel’s most renowned Indie-Rock festivals “Indie-Negev” and "Ya'arot Menashe" numerous times.
In 2012, Zelig received a scholarship in order to pursue his musical education in New York City at The New School For Jazz And Contemporary Music, where he studied privately with drum masters Jimmy Cobb, Gregory Hutchinson, Willie Jones III and pianist Hal Galper.
During his period at The New School, Zelig had the opportunity of working with George Cables and Stacy Dillard as part of the "Jazz Presents" series at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, as well as performing a week long engagement at the Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Outside of school, Zelig was already working in some of New York's most renowned venues such as Webster Hall, Cleopatra's Needle, The Zinc Bar, Rockwood Music Hall and (Le) Poisson Rouge. Zelig has shared the stage with Jazz legends Bill Crow, Ed Polcer, Marion Cowings, Jimmy Halperin and more.
Other notable engagements during that period took place at the Los Angeles Independent
Film Festival and The Jewish Music Festival in Toronto. In 2013, Zelig recorded for the soundtrack of Eran Riklis' feature film "Dancing Arabs", in which he also made an appearance. In August 2014, Zelig was invited to accompany vocalist Kate Baker and guitarist Vic Juris’ Jazz Workshop in Woodstock.
In more recent years, Zelig held his position as the lead drummer for the original Off-Broadway hits 'Katdashians! The Musical!' and '90210! The Musical!', 'Friends! The Musical!' and currently occupies the lead drum chair of 'The Office! The Musical!'. He is also the drummer in the acclaimed Brooklyn based band 'Milan to Minsk', which he co-founded. Other esteemed acts Zelig participates in are Blood Orange Trio, NYC Jazz Park Rangers, The Nathan Brown Trio, Powersnap, and The Swingaroos.
Zelig earned his BFA degree in Jazz Performance with honors from The New School and
is currently playing all around NYC while leading his own group and writing original music.