“A superior straight-ahead guitarist who can swing as hard as anyone.”
-Scott Yanow, Allmusic.com
Ben-Hur has earned high praise from jazz critics around the world for his previous recordings, Backyard (TCB-1996), Sofia’s Butterfly (TCB-1998), Anna’s Dance (Reservoir Music- 2001), Signature (Reservoir-2005), Keepin’ It Open (Motema-2007) & Smile (with Gene Bertoncini, Motema-2008). Among his most ardent admirers is award-winning writer Gary Giddins, who selected Ben-Hur’s Anna’s Dance as “One of the Best Jazz CD’s of 2001″ in The Village Voice.
In addition to leading his own bands, Ben-Hur has shared the stage and the studio with the likes of Barry Harris, Ronnie Mathews, Rufus Reid, Chris Anderson, Cecil Payne, Walter Booker, Etta Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Charles McPherson, Leroy Williams, Charles Davis, Rufus Reid, John Hicks, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Earl May, Teri Thornton, Lewis Nash, Steve Kroon and Bill Doggett. He regularly performs in major festivals and clubs around the world.
Along with being a prodigious player, composer, arranger and bandleader, Ben-Hur has truly dedicated himself to educating others about the joys and rewards of playing jazz and, in turn, has done as much to generate a new audience, and new players, for this music as anyone on the scene. Since being the jazz program founder/director at The Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center in Manhattan, Roni has literally taught thousands of people through his jazz ensembles and workshops. He is also responsible, in collaboration with Santi Debriano, for creating a very successful week long jazz camp in the village of Saint Cezaire in Cote d’Azure, France. With Nilson Matta, he created the Jazz and Brazilian Camp in Bar Harbor, Maine. Both camps offers adult jazz amateurs an opportunity to learn jazz and Latin music, while living and interacting with the community, and has become a major attraction in their region. Ben-Hur was also on the faculty of the jazz camps in Stanford, Litchfield, and the National Guitar Workshops. His book, Talk Jazz, is much sought after by fellow musicians and students worldwide. Ben-Hur’s upcoming DVD on guitar harmony promises to be one of the most important educational works for aspiring guitarists. For Ben-Hur, jazz is not only a calling, it is a life force.
With his wife, Amy London (Motéma recording artist, jazz vocalist and professor of vocal studies at The New School), and their two daughters, Roni Ben-Hur reside in the “jazz town” of the tri-state area, Teaneck, New Jersey.
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