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Roy Assaf — Piano

Roy Assaf

Roy Assaf is a native of Tel Aviv who began his formal classical training at the Tel Aviv Conservatory at the age of 8. He moved to New York in 2006 to study at The Manhattan School of Music.
A pianist with dazzling technique and a composer who expertly weaves jazz harmonies, Roy was named the ASCAP Foundation’s Young Jazz Composer in 2008. He made his New York Blue Note debut with the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band in 2007, followed by a European tour consisting of 13 cities.

Roy’s other awards include the 31st Downbeat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, 2nd place in the Charlie Palmieri Memorial Piano Competition, Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award, America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians and the 30th Downbeat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement.

Over the last few years, Roy has performed with Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Lewis Nash, Dr. Billy Taylor, Barry Harris, George Garzone, T.S. Monk, Steve Davis, John Lee, Dave Samuels, Claudio Roditi, Victor Mendoza and Giovanni Hidalgo, in addition to such jazz legends as Jimmy Heath, James Moody and Slide Hampton.

Roy is currently also part of the John Lee Quartet, Charlie Christenson Quartet, Alex Terrier Quartet, Chris Dempsey Quartet and Roy Assaf & Eddy Khaimovich Project.

In 2003, after being awarded several scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, Roy moved from Israel to Boston to pursue his undergraduate studies there. While at Berklee, he studied with such distinguished musicians and teachers as Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Perez, Kenny Werner, Michel Camilo, Richie Beirach and Sonny Bravo. Roy graduated from Berklee in 2005 and was awarded a BA cum laude.

In May of 2005, Roy was invited to perform at the Promising Artist of the 21st Century Performance Series in Costa Rica. Shortly thereafter, he performed with his jazz quartet at the Phoenix Jazz Festival in Kobe, Japan.

In May 2008, Roy graduated from a two-year program at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Master's degree in Jazz Performance. He was fortunate to be mentored by pianists Kenny Barron, Jason Moran and Phil Markowitz, and great saxophonist Dave Liebman.