At the age of 23, after graduating from the Berklee College of Music, Israeli jazz pianist Roy Assaf moved to New York City to pursue his dream. Just a few months passed before he met legendary bassist and producer John Lee; soon Roy found himself touring around the world and playing the most prestigious festivals, clubs, and concert halls with the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, a band that included James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Paquito D’Rivera, Roy Hargrove, Lewis Nash, Randy Brecker, Antonio Hart, and other jazz masters. Before long, Roy was getting calls from some of the world’s most influential contemporary jazz bands: Slide Hampton Sextet, The Mingus Big Band, Steve Turre’s bands, Roberta Gambarini Quartet, David Sanborn Group, Claudio Roditi Quartet, and many others.
While completing his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, Roy established his reputation as one of the most sought-after young pianists in the New York jazz scene. In 2012, he released his debut album, Respect, on Jazz Legacy Productions accompanied by Reuben Rogers on bass and Greg Hutchinson on drums.
Roy was ready to establish a band of his own.
“I’ve always dreamt of having a band that works regularly together,” he explains, “a band that shares a special musical connection, sound, feel, and time. I want to bring the experience of playing with musicians I admire and also share my own voice, both as a musician and as a human being.”