Born: April 20, 1967 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Israeli-born, Boston-based guitarist Issi Rozen has emerged as a leading performer on the Boston jazz scene, creating a unique musical style by blending Middle Eastern and Latin motifs with post bop and straight ahead jazz. Rozen has created an infectious sound that is dynamic, passionate and seemingly effortless. He has a natural sense for melody and an awesome ability to make his guitar sing. His unique blend of styles has earned The Issi Rozen Quartet rave reviews from jazz critics and audiences nationwide.
In 2003, Rozen released his latest recording Dark Beauty on New Step Music. Dark Beauty is a beautiful and powerful extension of Rozen's critically acclaimed releases Homeland Blues and Red Sea (both on Brownstone Recordings). On his recordings, the guitarist taps into the melodies of his homeland to bring a new dimension to jazz. Rozen melds Middle Eastern, Latin and bluesy influences with post-bop playing, creating a sound that has its own exotic flavor and personality. Having composed most of the material on the albums, Rozen captivates the listener both as a talented performer and as an innovative composer.
Homeland Blues was picked as one of the top 20 CDs in 2000 by WBEZ radio in Chicago, one of the leading jazz radio stations in the country. In 1999, Rozen won the Best Jazz Performer award from Boston Magazine in its annual Best of Boston issue.
In addition to playing, Rozen also enjoys teaching aspiring musicians. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he teaches guitar and music theory.