BM Woodwinds and Brass (Flute), Spring 2015
International flute sensation Azeem Ward has taken the world by storm, thanks in part to his viral senior flute recital that was viewed by over 55,000 people in May of 2015. Azeem’s signature blend of jazz, classical, and beatbox flute stylings has earned him features on Jimmy Kimmel Live and BuzzFeed, and in publications such as The Tab, The Independent, and countless others. Azeem’s senior flute recital was hailed by Kimmel as “the most anticipated flute recital in the history of the country.”
Azeem began to play flute at the age of ten, and decided to take a serious interest in music during his sophomore year of high school. He quickly joined the Oakland Youth Orchestra, and was a featured soloist at the 2011 Junior Bach Festival.
In June of 2015, Azeem received his Bachelor of Music in flute performance at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he studied with Jill Felber. During his time at UCSB, he was featured as a soloist with multiple ensembles across campus, composed for various ensembles, performed in the University Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensembles, Ensemble for Contemporary Music, and many more. He also participated in master classes, seminars, and orchestra festivals taught by internationally acclaimed faculty.
A dynamic performer, Azeem has also won competitions such as the UCSB Orchestral Soloist Competition (2012), the Areon Summer Flute Institute Competition (2013), the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation competition (2013), and was awarded honorable mention in the Dorothy Van Waynen Scholarship Competition (2014).
Most recently, Azeem began collaborating with local beat-maker DJ Underbelly, forming Azeem X Underbelly. The duo engineered a live show that combines lyrical flute melodies with driving dance beats, creating a performance that adapts to any occasion—from an elegant restaurant, to a nightclub dance floor.
Azeem will begin graduate studies in music performance at the University of Northern Iowa with Angeleita Floyd in January 2016. As he pursues new aspirations in recording, composing, producing, artist managing, teaching, and soloing, he realizes that his journey is just beginning.