Zubin Hensler was born in Seattle, now he lives in Brooklyn. He plays the trumpet, writes music, and records audio. Sometimes, he sings.
As a trumpeter, Zubin plays regularly with The Westerlies, a new music brass quartet he co-founded in 2011. He toured/recorded with Vieux Farka Toure and Julia Easterlin as part of their critically acclaimed ‘Touristes’ project, with performances at Celebrate BK, POP Montreal, MASS MOCA, and elsewhere. His trumpeting can be heard in videos or albums by Fleet Foxes, Daniel Rossen, Sylvan Esso, My Brightest Diamond, Half Waif, and Relatives. He has shared the stage with Son Lux, Landlady, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, and many others.
Zubin writes and records music for video, image, dance, and podcasts. He scored the feature length documentary Crossing Over, which premiered on Univision and Pivot. He wrote music for the acclaimed Camino project by photographer/writer Michael George, which was published by National Geographic both in print and online. Other films containing Zubin’s music have been released by The New Yorker, local PBS stations, Google, and a number of independent film festivals. In collaboration with dance, Zubin wrote and performed the score for Flinch/Speck by Elisabeth Motley, which was presented by Jacob’s Pillow and Gibney Dance. He has also worked with Juilliard Dance and performs regularly with choreographer/performer Maggie Segale.
Zubin has had the great joy of making recordings with some of his closest friends and favorite musicians. He has done production work on recordings for The Westerlies (“2014’s best debut album” – Francis Davis, NPR Music), Touristes (“Bravely Original” – The Guardian), Half Waif (“Best New Track” – Pitchfork, “Knocks the wind out of me because it just sounds really cool” – Stereogum), Really Big Pinecone (one of “15 Best Albums You Didn’t Hear in 2015” – Rolling Stone), Hannah Epperson, FEATHERS+EYES, .Michael., and others.
Zubin has a solo project called twig twig, for which he makes all the music and sings all the words. Twig has been praised by Noisey (“this is fucking awesome”), Line of Best Fit (“like pillows or small furry animals…a damn good listen”), Impose (“feels like perpetual sunshine in a world of no night and no morning dawn”) and Clash Magazine (“a beautiful innocence, a fragrant naivety”).
Zubin likes to teach the things he has learned. He has co-led workshops with Found Sound Nation for the last three years, opening the ears of high schoolers to experimental sound composition and performance. He has privately taught trumpet lessons, both in Seattle and New York. With The Westerlies, he has worked with middle/high school/college students around the country (including at Juilliard, Yale, NYU, and Manhattan School of Music) focusing on composition, playing in a chamber ensemble, brass technique, and friendship.