Koby Hayon

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Born: June 5, 1972    Primary Instrument: Guitar

Koby Hayon

Koby Hayon was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. While studying at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Tel Aviv, Hayon gathered experience as a guitarist with the DGK Trio and other notable groups. In 2001, Hayon moved to the United States, where he would earn his BM in jazz studies at SUNY Purchase. There, as a recipient of the Ullendorff Memorial Foundation scholarship, Westchester Art Council, New York State Art Council, he studied with jazz greats John Abercrombie, Hal Galper, Todd Coolman, and Jon Faddis. Hayon has since played in a number of venues throughout the tri-state area as the leader of a jazz trio, duo, and quartet...
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Koby's compositions reflect his wide range of musical experience. I can hear his Middle-Eastern roots on several of the compositions (check out his improvisations on ”Norwegian Wood”), yet on many tunes, “Crumbs” for example, I hear the wide open spaces of the Midwest of America. A final note, this recording is not for those just looking for a happy diversion. It accurately reflects life today. The challenges ahead, the turmoil around the world is evident in these compositions. Koby has performed the duty of the artist.” (From album liner notes, written by Kermit Driscoll)

Jerusalem-born guitarist Koby Hayon is a remarkable artist whose music is an aural manifestation of what he feels. In this production-obsessed age of the tail wagging the dog” musicians and producers who seem more interested in the technique of how music is played and packaged than in the emotional honesty of what is played” it’s a pleasant change to hear one whose music is unfiltered by a superficial scrim of gratuitous tricks. That’s not to say Koby Hayon hasn’t worked hard to build a formidable ability at the guitar” it’s clear he has, during his years of study in Israel and since his move to New York in 2001, when he came to study in the renowned Jazz Studies program at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music.

We don’t hear the effort; instead we hear Mr. Hayon’s humanity. He uses his estimable skills in the service of human expression. That, to an artist, is the definition of real technique.

Hayon and his trio project a consistent artistic sensibility while navigating the expressive possibilities of each seemingly disparate idiom, blending intimacy with brash statement. These are incongruous idioms, maybe, but there is an overarching discipline at play that keeps the personal voice of Koby Hayon, the human being, out front. It is that confident personal statement that holds the recording together in such a way that gives the listener tastes of many moods and flavors while presenting an overall well- blended statement. Highly recommended.

--Pete Malinverni

Israeli-born guitarist Koby Hayon is a John Abercrombie protege, and you can hear elements of his former teacher's sound in his playing. Koby has spent time converting traditional Israeli music into jazz - so it is clear he has developed a sound of his own, which fuses those different elements together.

Hayon's interesting compositions blends traditional jazz guitar with Middle-Eastern song and pop. To underline this fact, he covers the popular Yemenite street song Galbi and the Beatles' Norwegian Wood. Intent listening and nice improvisations and interaction by the trio members throughout lead to a satisfying listening experience, with the overall mood one of an understated and lingering feel of mystery. --Brad Walseth

oby's compositions reflect his wide range of musical experience. I can hear his middle-eastern roots on several of the compositions, (check out his improvisations on ”Norwegian Wood”) , yet on many tunes, “Crumbs” for example, I hear the wide open spaces of the Midwest of America.

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White Plains, NY

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