Of African American and Venezuelan descent, Khelsey Zarraga is a violinist, educator, administrator, and advocate based in Chicago, IL.
As a chamber musician, Khelsey is the violinist of Black Moon Trio, where she enjoys the exploration of new works and innovative collaboration. She recently was the violinist of Fifth House Ensemble, and of Lincoln Center Stage, the Residency Chamber Ensemble aboard Holland America cruise line, in partnership with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She has enjoyed performing across Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
As an orchestral musician, Khelsey prioritizes performing a wide variety of genres, and has performed concerts of gospel, hip-hop, and jazz in venues such as the Chicago Theater, United Center, Auditorium Theater, and Harris Theater, among others.
Khelsey has worked with a wide variety of students, from elementary students to residency at the university level. She has been in residence and led masterclasses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO), Centre College (Danville, KY), and Denison University (Granville, OH). Khelsey particularly values working with programs for youth experiencing homelessness and incarceration, such as those at the Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative High School. Khelsey is also proud to be the Executive and Board Relations Assistant at the Merit School of Music.
Khelsey holds her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she studied with Mark Kaplan.
In her spare time, she enjoys perfecting croissant and chocolate chip cookie recipes.