Guitarist, composer and educator Rob Levit has been described by the Ottawa International Jazz Festival as "...one of the finest young guitarists on today's jazz scene." He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the 2000 Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation (Doris Duke Jazz Ensembles Project) Award, the Jazz Composers Alliance/Julius Hemphill Prize, and four consecutive Maryland State Arts Council Individual Arts Awards. Inspired by great composers as diverse as Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers and Pat Metheny, Levit's music integrates world, rock, jazz and classical sources with improvisation to create an exciting fusion of sounds. His band, the Rob Levit Group, has performed at the Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, the Knitting Factory, and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. Levit Produces, records, and releases his own music on the Symbol System label--a label devoted to fostering collaboration, creativity, and economic self-sufficiency. He also gives workshops on all aspects of jazz and improvisation.
Guitarist, composer, educator, and band leader Rob Levit, a native of Richmond, Virginia, resides in Annapolis, Maryland. He received his master's degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory in Boston. While there, his group, a quintet comprised of trumpet, flute, guitar, bass, and drums, was signed to Brownstone Recordings and recorded the compact disc, Singularity. Released in October 1994, the disc received acclaim in New England and nationally. In his year end column, jazz critic Bob Blumenthal of the Boston Globe recognized him as a rising jazz star. The Rob Levit Group was nominated "Best Jazz Act" by the Boston Phoenix . Subsequently, it was chosen as the opening act for Arturo Sandoval in the Boston Globe Jazz Festival , one of the most prestigious American jazz festivals. The group's performance received positive reviews in the area's two primary newspapers, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. Singularity was featured on Chronicle, a popular television newsmagazine, as a recommended compact disc. In addition, one cut from the CD was selected by the Massachusetts Governor's Alliance Against Drugs for a public service announcement.
In 1995, Levit moved to New York City where he formed a new group featuring saxophonist Chris Cheek, percussionist John Mettam, and bassist Stephan Crump. Together they recorded two CD's of Levit's original compositions, Afterimage and East River View. In 1996, the Rob Levit Group was Artist-In-Residence at the University of Virginia and Collegiate School as part of an east coast tour. In July 1997, the group performed at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival where Levit was described as "...one of the finest young guitarists on today's jazz scene." In July 1998, the group played on the mainstage of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.