Born on the Indian Sub-Continent, removed at the age of four to the driving surf sounds of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music as well as a pilgrimage in India under the tutorial of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.
Making New York home for the past 15 years, Rez Abbasi is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players on todays scene. With influence from the Indian sub-continent, Rez has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist.
"Invigorating and graceful playing, unpredictable and fascinating compositions... Abbasi is a rarity!" Jazziz
Rez has honed his skills with performances through out the world including multiple tours in Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico and India. He has performed or recorded with many jazz greats including, Grammy winner Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, DD Jackson, Tim Hagans, Marc Johnson, Billy Hart, Michael Formanek, Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Gary Thomas, Rick Margitza, Dave Douglas , Rudresh Mahanthappa, Tony Malaby, Shahid Ali, George Brooks, Ronu Majumdar, Kadri Gopalnath, Greg Osby and a host of others.
Among Rez's other creative projects is his long-standing association with bassist David Phillips, drummer Tony Moreno and alto saxophonist John O'Gallagher in the highly acclaimed, collective ensemble, "Freedance". Rez is also an integral part of Indian/Canadian vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia's ensemble, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Trio and the Sunny Jain Collective among others.
With five albums of original compositions under his belt, Rez continues to garner new groups of musicians to help his musical concepts come to life. His latest recording "Snake Charmer" has created a stir in the music world partly due to his organic, original approach in blending two complex musical genres together, namely jazz and Indian music. 20th Century Guitar reviewed the CD as, "One of the best examples yet of how to merge Indian music with jazz...Snake Charmer really breaks new ground."
Look for Rez's new recording, Bazaar, on the ZOHO label hitting stores November 14, 2006.
“Rez Abbasi has distinguished himself as one of the most accomplished and consistently adventurous young guitarists flying just under the radar of New York's jazz scene." Bill Milkowski