Music at the Meetinghouse: ROY ASSAF JAZZ TRIO
Delivering fresh color to the world of music, the Roy Assaf Trio blends traditional jazz with middle eastern rhythms, singable melodies with danceable rhythms. A special bond is created among the musicians that leaves the audience feeling inspired by a memorable happening.
Born in Israel in 1982, Roy started his formal classical training at the Tel Aviv Conservatory at the age of eight. In 1999, he graduated from the three-year jazz program of Thelma Yellin – Israel’s premier high school of the arts – and won the International Red Sea Jazz Festival competition for young musicians. Roy later became a prominent Israeli jazz pianist and a member of the Tel-Aviv Jazz Big Band. He led his own jazz quintet, performed at the International Jazz Blues and Videotape Festival and made numerous appearances on national television and radio programs.
In 2000, the Israeli Military Academy of Music granted Roy an award of distinction and enlisted him to serve in the Education Corps for three years. After his military service, he graduated from the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music shortly before moving to United States. After being awarded several scholarships to the Berklee College of Music, Roy moved from Israel to Boston in 2003 to pursue his undergraduate studies, grauduating in 2005 with a BA cum laude.
In the fall of 2005, he moved to New York City to pursue his musical career. After less than a year he received a phone call to join the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band. Roy joined them on a long European tour consisting of 13 cities, as well as for additional performances in Canada, Puerto Rico, and one week at the famed Blue Note in New York City. Since then, he has been working both with the small group as well as the big band in various venues and festivals around the world. By playing with them, Roy has had the honor to share the stage with jazz legends as Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart and many more.
Besides performing with many world-renowned musicians, Roy has also won several awards, including the 31st Downbeat Student Award for Outstanding Performance, 2008 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, 2nd place of 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. In May 2008, Roy graduated from a two-year program at the Manhattan School of Music, earning a Master's degree in Jazz Performance.
In 2013, Roy formed his own trio with bassist Raviv Markovitz and drummer Jake Goldbas. Together, they began to establish the unique voice of the Roy Assaf Trio. They have performed across North America at venues such as The Blue Note and the Rubin Museum of Art. Their debut album will be released in the summer of 2014.