Guitarist/Composer Roni Ben-Hur live @ The JVC Jazz Festival


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Roni Ben-Hur (guitar), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Santi Debriano (bass), Leroy Williams (drums)


The Music of Elmo Hope with the Elmolenium Band Bertha Hope, Roni Ben-Hur, Charles Davis, Santi Debriano, Leroy Williams and guest vocalist Amy London


The Music of Billy Strayhorn
Roni Ben-Hur with special guests

Guitarist, composer Roni Ben-Hur is poised and primed to delight JVC Jazz Festival audiences that venture uptown this year. At the historic Langston Hughes House on 127th Street in Harlem, Ben-Hur will be presenting two very special concerts: The Music of Elmo Hope, on June 19, and The Music of Billy Strayhorn, on June 30. But before these momentous events, the critically-acclaimed artist will be appearing with his quartet at Macy's Herald Square on June 14, also part of the JVC Festival.

This May, Motma proudly released Keepin' It Open, the new recording from Ben-Hur. Keepin' It Open is the brilliant follow up to the guitarist's highly-praised fourth recording, Signature (Reservoir, 2005). Keepin' It Open, runs the musical gamut from standards such as “Indian Summer" to Ben-Hur's signature Sephardic sound, which shows up in the exotic folk melody “Eshkolit." Dedicated to the memory of the late bassist Walter Booker Jr. ("His love and beauty will always be present in my music," says Ben-Hur), this release also pays loving tribute to Ben-Hur's mother. “Although I grew up in a small town in Israel, my mother had this 'open door' policy which meant our home was always filled with music, food and passionate conversations not only with family, but with neighbors, friends and often complete strangers," the NYC guitarist explains. The title truly reflects on Ben-Hur's own expansive approach; keepin' it open, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and of course, musically.

Keepin' It Open features Ben-Hur and the world-class ensemble of Ronnie Mathews (piano), Jeremy Pelt (trumpet & flugelhorn), Santi DeBriano (bass), Lewis Nash (drums) and Steve Kroon (percussion). This “all-star" cast expertly and joyously romps through the Ben-Hur original blues, “My Man Harris," showing love and respect for the bebop maestro, Barry Harris. The opening chords to Dori Caymmi's “Like a Lover" wash over you, drawing you in to a place where all is right with the world. The Ben-Hur original “Back When" swings like mad and is a revealing example of why Ben-Hur is considered one of the elite jazz guitarists and composers on the scene today.

Motema Presents JVC Jazz at the Hughes House in Harlem 20 E. 127th Street (between 5th & Madison) 2 blocks from Metro North and the 125th St. Stop of #2, 3 & 4, 5,& 6 IRT Lines $25 at the door, $20 in advance, $15 W/student or senior ID, Seating limited and reserved To reserve: [email protected] or call 212 222.5394, www.motema.com

The Hughes House Parlor, located in the land-marked brownstone of poet Langston Hughes, is one of New Yorks newest and most intimate musicvenues. It features fine acoustics and a fabulous Fazioli grand piano.

Wednesday, June 13: 'BUJO' KEVIN JONES & 10TH WORLD, Sets: 7:30 & 9:30 PM
Friday, June 15: THE KIT McCLURE BAND, Sets: 8 & 10 PM
Saturday, June 16: CLAUDIA BETH HAYDEN BAND, Sets: 8 & 10 PM
Tuesday, June 19: THE ELMOLENIUM ORCHESTRA, Sets: 7:30 & 9:30 PM
Thursday, June 21: MARC CARY EXPERIENCE & XR PROJECT w/Emcee CHANCE, Sets:8 & 10 PM
Friday & Saturday, June 22 & 23: LYNNE ARRIALE, Sets: 8 & 10 PM
Thursday, June 28: PETE LEVIN TRIO, Sets: 8 & 10 PM
Friday, June 29: JANA HERZEN BAND, Sets: 8 & 10 PM

This story appears courtesy of Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity.
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