All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Rez Abbasi

Rez Abbasi Rez Abbasi

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, removed at the age of four to the vastness of Southern California, schooled at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music in jazz and classical music, along with a pilgrimage in India under the tutelage of master percussionist, Ustad Alla Rakha, Rez Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above stated influences and genres.

Making New York his home for the past 20 years, Abbasi has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist. He is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players the world over. Since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, Rez has honed his skills with performances throughout Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico and India. He has performed and recorded with many including, Grammy winner Ruth Brown, Peter Erskine, Kenny Werner, Barre Phillips, TIm Berne, Marc Johnson, Billy Hart, Gary Thomas, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mike Clark, Tony Malaby, George Brooks, Ronu Majumdar, Kadri Gopalnath, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Marilyn Crispell, Greg Osby, Howard Levy and a host of others.

Among Abbasi’s activities are musical director, arranger and producer for Indian/Canadian Juno award winning vocal sensation, Kiran Ahluwalia. Kiran’s 2008 recording, Wanderlust, was in the top ten European world-music radio charts and also was among the top ten albums of 2008 in the premiere world music magazine, Song-Lines. Her follow up, Aam Zameen (2011) features the Grammy winning Touareg group Tinariwen and garnered the 2011 Juno Award. Another of Abbasi’s highly regarded associations is with heralded saxophonist and composer, Rudresh Mahanthappa. Rez plays an integral role in Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition (Innova) and Kinsmen Ensemble (PI). Kinsmen’s album placed in over twenty top ten list’s for 2008. As a result, Rez was interviewed by NPR’s “All Things Considered”, Rolling Stone Magazine India and featured in the New York Times. Rez can also be heard in a variety of other projects.

Read more


Album Review
Read more articles
”An amazing guitarist…unique and beautiful music—and best of all—very original.” —Pat Metheny

“Rez is an extremely talented guitarist and composer… unique and surprising.” —Peter Erskine

“Producing so vivid a music that it can almost be tasted, Abbasi sounds like no one who has gone before him. His compositions are sheer genius.” —All About Jazz



Album Persistence by Amina Figarova


Self Produced

Album A Throw Of Dice by Rez Abbasi

A Throw Of Dice

Whirlwind Recordings

Album OASIS by Rez Abbasi


Enja Records/Yellowbird

Album Unfiltered Universe by Rez Abbasi

Unfiltered Universe

Whirlwind Recordings

Album Behind the Vibration by Rez Abbasi

Behind the Vibration

Cuneiform Records

Album Intents and Purposes by Rez Abbasi

Intents and Purposes

Enja Records



Rez Abbasi

Mystery Rising

Mystery Rising

Rez Abbasi
A Throw Of Dice



Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
Specializing in music, movies and video games
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.