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Born in South Asia, removed at the age of four to the driving surf
sounds of the Southern California beach scene, schooled at the
University of Southern California and the prestigious Manhattan
School of Music, and a pilgrimage in India under the tutorial of
master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid
synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.
Making New York home for the past 14 years, Rez Abbasi is considered to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players. With influence from the Indian sub-continent, Rez has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist.
Critic Bill Milkowski (Pulse, Down Beat) has written, His unpredictable phrasing and accomplished writing are what sets him apart from hordes of other technically adept guitarists.
Rez has honed his skills with performances through out the world including multiple tours in Europe, Canada, the U.S. and India/Pakistan. He has performed or recorded with many jazz greats including, Grammy winner Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, as well as Victor Lewis, Kenny Werner, Rick Margitza, Barre Phillips, DD Jackson, Tim Hagans, Marc Johnson, Billy Hart, Michael Formanek, Gary Thomas, Kiran Ahluwalia, Sandip Burman, Tony Malaby and a host of others.
Rez recently invited his new trio into the studio to record his fourth CD, Snake Charmer. The CD also features special guest, legendary saxophonists Dave Liebman and Indian/Canadian vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia and will come out on the Arabesque Label in May, 2004.
With Abbasi's use of the hybrid instrument sitar-guitar, in the context of an organ trio setting, Snake Charmer is a CD that creates a cross-cultural esthetic between Jazz and Indian music. The result is music that resonates with beauty and groundbreaking results. Bill Milkowski writes, Snake Charmer is a fascinating and compelling hybrid -- as organic a meeting of East and West as John McLaughlin's Shakti.
Abbasi's 2002 release, Out Of Body, continues to garner high praise from a variety of top music critics and publications.
Rez Abbasi's 'Snake Charmer' - Jazz Standard Feb. 11th, NYC Rez Abbasi 's 'Snake Charmer' - March 22nd 55 Bar, NYC