The American classical guitar performer, composer and teacher, Sulaiman Zai, was born of Czech/Afghan heritage. In 1985 he was awarded an Artist Diploma with distinction from the Indiana University School of Music.
Since his debut in 1973, Sulaiman Zai has received enthusiastic acclaim for his recitals, concerto appearances, and radio and television broadcasts. Both on and off stage he is committed to exploring the boundaries of east and west. Virtuosic and imaginative in approach, his programs challenge the listener with a kinetic mix of repertoire styles and techniques.
In addition to his performances as soloist in the USA and abroad, Sulaiman Zai pursues a career in composition. His pieces often showcase the beauty and versatility of the classical guitar and his works include numerous solo and ensemble pieces, several works for guitar and orchestra works for guitar and voices as well as commissioned music for film. Highlights of his 2001-2003 seasons were two commissioned works scored for solo guitar and orchestra, works performed by Zai himself at the Indiana University Auditorium. His achievements as a musician are attributed to a multicultural background, diverse musical training and his philosophy towards the art. His sensitivity and expression as an artist are attributed to " the constant striving for a high level of personal and artistic ethic which compromises no one." His warmth, vitality and impeccable technique have inspired others to write works for him.
In 2004 Sulaiman Zai produced his lsolo CD, "Sulaiman Zai: Bach and Dowland". This was followed by the release of his recording called "Alaskan Blue" in the summer of 2006. He also plays on a Miguel Rodriguez "Church Door" guitar (Cordoba) 1979.
Sulaiman Zai has also taught at the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music.