Breaking into the music scene only a few years ago, pianist Roy Assaf has already earned acclaim from jazz masters Kenny Barron and Jason Moran. With appearances on 20 albums as a sideman and co-leader, Roy’s first album as a leader—titled “Respect” and being released on Jazz Legacy Productions—includes such remarkable players as Reuben Rogers on bass, Greg Hutchinson on drums and special guests Roy Hargrove on trumpet and Eric Alexander on saxophone.
Roy arrived in New York in the Autumn of 2005 with a dream of pursuing his musical career. Shortly after that, he was invited to join the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band on piano for an extended European tour consisting of 13 cities, as well as additional performances in Canada, Puerto Rico, and one week at the famed Blue Note in New York City. Since that time, he has been steadily working both with small groups as well as big bands in various venues and festivals around the world. In accompanying these famous groups, Roy has had the honor of sharing the stage with such jazz legends as Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart and many more.
Moreover, Roy has performed with numerous individual artists including Randy Brecker, Lewis Nash, T.S. Monk, Barry Harris, Dr. Billy Taylor, Claudio Roditi, Steve Davis, John Lee, Ron Carter, Wallace Roney, Buster Williams and Trilok Gurtu, among other world-renowned musicians. Having been awarded numerous honors, Roy earned the 31st Annual Downbeat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, the 2008 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, the 2nd place honor for the Charlie Palmieri Memorial piano Competition, the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute Award, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize for Young Israeli Musicians and the 30th Annual Downbeat Student Award for Best Jazz Arrangement.
Roy currently plays with the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, the Winard Harper Sextet, The John Lee Quartet, the Sharel Cassity Quintet, the Victor Bastidas Project, the Alex Terrier Quartet, Augmented Reality, the Nir Naaman Quartet, the Michael Dease Big-Band and NYConnection.
“Roy Assaf is not only a fine musician, he is a fine young man. Anyone would be happy to have him in their band. He is a tremendous asset to any musical experience”
“Roy Assaf is an amazing pianist – you will definitely be learning a lot of good things about him.”
“Roy Assaf marries tradition, both American and Israeli, into a new form of jazz. This type of culturally relevant music is vital for the future of jazz. I am certain that his musical contribution will earn many followers.”