The Zafa Collective was formed in 2016 by co-founders Hannah Christiansen (violin) and Casey Karr (double bass). Built upon the idea that classical music should be inclusive and accessible both in terms of programming and performance, The Zafa Collective actively seeks music from outside the canon of Western art music and from a wide variety of aesthetics. Zafa has a core group of eight musicians, and regularly performs with guest artists.  This model of flexible instrumentation allows the Collective to choose their repertoire with no limitations.

In their first two seasons, The Zafa Collective premiered works by Michal Massoud, Theo Chandler, Connor Singh Vanderbeek, Erin Cameron, and Derek Tywoniuk, and workshopped with composers including Ellen Ruth Harrison, Eliza Brown, Augusta Read Thomas, Roger Zare, and Sato Matsui.  A 2017 Sponsored Artist of High Concept Labs, Zafa has performed with Chicago groups including Chicago Fringe Opera and has performed in a range of venues from Mana Contemporary to Constellation Chicago to the Poetry Foundation of Chicago.