Guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi migrated to the U.S. from Pakistan at age four. Since an early age he has emerged himself in both Western and Eastern music, studying and performing with a variety of Indian classical musicians as well as jazz musicians. His compositions and playing reflect his individuality and create an ideal hybrid of modern jazz and world inflections.
For over a decade, Abbasi has been blazing a new trail, along with cohorts Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer, as a leading figure in South Asian-American cutting edge jazz. His work spans far and wide, with performances in award-winning groups as Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition and Indian vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia’s group, along with many other projects. Abbasi was recently voted #2 Rising Star for guitar in DownBeat's prestigious Critics’ Poll.
Abbasi has put out several albums as a leader, from acoustic guitar driving quartet music, to electrified organ trio featuring Indian vocals. His ultra-modern group Invocation pulls all aspects of his persona into a cohesive, distinctive voice, rarely paralleled in today’s jazz. Featuring band mates Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, Dan Weiss, and Johannes Weidenmueller, Invocation’s debut release, Things To Come (2009), was included in DownBeat magazine’s ‘best albums of the decade’. That year Abbasi also received the prestigious Chamber Music America New Works grant for composition. For their second release—Suno, Suno (Enja 2011)—and Abbasi’s eighth recording, the compositions focus on a musical form from Pakistan called, Qawwali. With hard-driving grooves and sophisticated melodies, Suno, Suno ended the year on many critics ‘best of’ lists. In Fall of 2012, Abbasi will release his ninth album with his new trio, with John Hebert on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums.
Current Miller Theatre events featuring this artist:
To learn more about Rez Abbasi, visit: www.reztone.com