Zaccai Curtis has been performing since the age of five. As a high school student, he was recognized by Down Beat Magazine as a top young performer and chosen as the pianist for the National Grammy Band Small Combo. Zaccai now focuses on his quartet and on his seven-piece band “Insight.” In the seven years that “Insight” has been together, they have traveled across the U.S. and to Cuba on two separate occasions to perform in the Havana Jazz Festival. They will perform this year at the Litchfield Jazz Festival. Zaccai also performs with the Ralph Peterson Septet and Trio, with Bill Saxton, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Jimmy Greene, Papo Vasquez, Kendrick Oliver’s New Life Orchestra, and many others.
In 2001 he was commissioned to arrange Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol” to be played by “Insight” with the Hartford Symphony Chamber Orchestra. He won the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Competition 2003 through 2006. In 2006, Zaccai and three of Insight’s rhythm section members performed abroad for the U.S. Department of State’s Jazz Ambassadors Program. The quartet performed in Bangladesh, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In 2007, Zaccai was awarded the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism’s Artist Fellowship for original composition.