In recent years, guitarist Rez Abbasi has gained notoriety through performances with Dave Douglas, Greg Osby, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Kiran Ahluwalia and many others. His two latest recordings, Snake Charmer (2005) and Bazaar (2006-07) have garnered tremendous attention by critics, musicians, festival producers and radio alike.
A totally successful blend of two complex musical genres, namely jazz and Indian music. A journey through uncharted territory achieving a result unparalleled in today's jazz/world music scene!" - Peter Kuller - Jazz Radio Adelaide 101.5fm
Abbasi creates a sinuous, sometimes haunting and always evocative blend of contemporary jazz and Asian influences. Fan's of Shakti and Pat Metheny would be well-advised to lend an ear." - Time Out (New York)
Rez's music is so accomplished in so many ways, in terms of sheer chops and creativity with improvising ideas. And the songs are really sophisticated. - Vijay Iyer (Jazztimes blinfold test 2/08)
Snake Charmer is one of the best albums of 2005. It certainly makes my list of the years top ten." - Jacques Emond (Director Ottawa Jazz Festival)
Originally born on the Indian Sub-continent, Rez and family migrated to the U.S. when he was age four. Growing up in Los Angeles, he discovered jazz music at sixteen when a friend took him to see Ella Fitzgerald with Joe Pass on guitar. Rez soon quit his rock group and began his daily six-hour practice regiment. After spending a few seminal years learning jazz and classical music in the guitar program at USC, he moved to New York and finished his degree at the Manhattan School of Music. Upon graduation, he took another step in his education with a pilgrimage to India. There he was fortunate to spend time with percussion guru, Ustad Alla Rakha.
Some 18 years later, Rez Abbasi is considered one of the jazz scenes truly great guitarist's. As Pat Metheny recently stated, Rez is An amazing guitarist with beautiful and original music." His New York group Bazaar will be touring throughout the west for the first time, enticing audiences to the band's unique sound. They will be performing compositions from both recordings, featuring music steeped in jazz, with influences from Indian classical. These influences come in the form of rhythm and melody but also from Juno award winning Indian vocalist, Kiran Ahluwalia. Along with them in the group is the versatile organ player Sam Barsh (Avishai Cohen, Lonnie Plaxico) and drum giants, Dan Weiss (Lee Konitz, Dave Binney) and from March 15th on, Satoshi Takeishi (Ray Barretto, Eliane Elias)
Rez clearly states, Often a group of this sort is referred to as Indo-jazz or jazz fusion. I prefer to stay away from those blanket statements because they create references to other groups that have tried this kind of assimilation and ended up sounding unfulfilling. Because I've studied jazz, western classical and Indian music most of my life, this group has a solid foundation to create and improvise from, namely the compositions. I would simply like to call this modern music but I know that's too vague and so I think the safest thing to call it is probably Global Modern Jazz."
Feb. 22nd: Portland Jazz Festival
Feb. 24th: Winterruption/ Vancouver, BC
Feb. 25th: Victoria, BC
Feb 27th: Red Poppy Arts Center, SF, CA
Feb 28th: La Ve Lee, Los Angeles, CA
Feb. 29th: USC guitar clinic
Feb. 29th: Cafe Metropol, Los Angeles, CA
March 1st: Alva's Dance Studio, San Pedro, CA
March 15th: GiG Performance Space, Santa Fe, NM
March 17th: Ysleta School, El Paso, TX (Clinic/Concert)
March 18th: I.C.E., Tucson, AZ
March 19th: Clinic, Mount Royal Univ. Calgary, AB
March 20th: Ironwood, Calgary, AB
March 22nd: Yardbird Suite, Edmonton, AB
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