Carlos Manuel Zabala was born on October 15, 1985, in Cardona (Soriano), Uruguay.
At the age of 3 he received his first piano lessons from his mother, and at 8 he entered at the Municipal
Conservatory of Music in Cardona studying music theory, keyboard, percussion and trumpet.
In 1998 he moved to Maldonado with his mother, where he continued his studies in music theory and saxophone at the Maldonado State Conservatory of Music, he studied with Professors Luis Álvez (music theory), Milton Mesa (saxophone) and César Massimino (saxophone), also attended harmony lessons with Cristina Arosteguy and piano with Juan Cao.
In 2005 he was admitted at the University School of Music (National University of Uruguay) where he attended a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Conducting studying with Mtro. Federico García Vigil, in 2006 continued with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Trumpet) studying with Prof. Benjamin Browne. In 2011, he became the first trumpet player with a University-level degree in the history of his country.
From 1993 to 1996 he played in the Cardona Municipal Conservatory of Music Youth Band, as trumpet player. From 2000 to 2003 in Maldonado Youth Symphony Orchestra as principal trumpet, from 2001 to 2003 he also carried out tasks as brass instructor. From 2000 to 2009 he performed with "Vientos en Concierto (Winds in Concert)" Youth Orchestra in San Carlos (Maldonado), founded by Prof. César Massimino, Carlos Manuel Zabala played principal trumpet (2000-2007) and later became principal conductor (2007-2009), working as brass instructor at the same time.
In 2007 he won the position of Professor of Trumpet at the Maldonado State School of Music, also working with advanced Music Theory students.
In Uruguay, he has studied trumpet with professors Ricardo Mañay, Milton Campos, Richard Acosta, Alejandro Vega and Benjamin Browne, principal Trumpet of the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Uruguay (OSSODRE). Mr. Benjamin Browne is from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, studied trumpet with Dennis Najoom and resides in Uruguay since 2000.
Carlos Manuel Zabala has performed as a soloist on different stages throughout the country as well as in Montevideo, traveling in 2006 to the "International Choir Encounter" in Lafaiete MG - Brazil as a soloist with the Vocational Choir of Cardona.
He has played in orchestras and chamber ensembles under the direction of Renée Pietrafesa Bonet, Cristina García Banegas, Martín García, Edgardo Rocha, Gabriel González, Matthias Manasi, etc.
He played at the National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra, PuntClasSic Festival (principal), OperaJoven (principal), “Ars Musicae” chamber orchestra (principal) and “De Profundis” baroque ensemble (associate principal).
He attended the 2008 and 2009 editions of the International Brass Festival (Isla Verde, Argentina) where he studied with professors Fernando Ciancio (Principal Trumpet of Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra at the Colón Theatre in Buenos Aires) and Benjamín Moreno (Principal Trumpet of the Spain Radio Symphony Orchestra).
In September 2009 he performed an entire flugelhorn and piano recital at the Solis Theatre (principal concert hall of Uruguay), playing with renowned pianist Ani Álvarez Badano. In the same year (October, 17th) he played a flugelhorn and organ recital at the International Organ Festival of Uruguay, an entire program of baroque and gallant works.
In 2009 he won Category “A” unanimously by the jury at the national annual concourse of "Jeunesses Musicales International", being the first trumpet/flugelhorn player in the uruguayan history to win this competition.
In 2010 was accepted by world audition to attend the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California (USA), receiving lessons from Paul Merkelo (principal trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra) and Joe Burgstaller (world famous trumpet virtuoso, former member of the Canadian Brass).
He is the receipt of the James Stephenson (American composer and trumpet player) scholarship for 2010, and the National Fund of Music of Uruguay Scholarship 2008 and 2012.
In August 2011 he moved to the United States pursuing a Master of Music in Performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studies with Professor Joe Burgstaller and Edward Hoffman. He is the receipt of the Mabell Antoinette Leonhardtsen del Mar Scholarship that supports youth outstanding musical talents.
In May 2011 and 2012 he was invited as faculty at the Alfredo de Saint Malo Music Festival in Panamá.
Carlos Manuel Zabala attended the International Trumpet Seminar at Chosen Vale (NH, USA) in June 2012.
He was selected by world audition to participate of the 43rd edition (July 2012) of Campos do Jordao Winter Festival in Brazil studying with Gilberto Siqueira (OSESP - Brazil), Mark David (Royal Academy of Music - England) and Ole Edvard Antonsen (International Soloist - Norway).
Since 2008 he has been the Assistant of the Artistic Direction of Sembrando Talentos Uruguay, a project that discovers and develops the music talent with special emphasis on unprivileged children.
Carlos Manuel Zabala plays an Antoine Courtois Professional flugelhorn, this instrument has been possible by economic support granted by the Fo.Na.M (National Fund of Music) in November 2008.