Jazz guitarist Roni Ben-Hur has earned a sterling reputation as a musician and educator, renowned for his golden tone, improvisational brilliance, compositional lyricism and ability to charm peers, students and listeners alike. Eminent jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote in the Village Voice: “A limber and inventive guitarist, Ben-Hur keeps the modernist flame alive and pure, with a low flame burning in every note… [He’s] a guitarist who knows the changes and his own mind.” Ben-Hur – born in Israel in 1962 but a longtime American citizen, now based in New Jersey – has released nine albums as leader or co-leader, with Time Out New York calling him “a formidable and consummately lyrical guitarist.” The Star-Ledger of New Jersey summed him up this way: “A deep musician, a storyteller, Ben-Hur works with a warm, glowing sound and has an alluring way of combining engaging notes with supple rhythm.” Along with releasing acclaimed educational products – including the instructional DVD Chordability and method book Talk Jazz: Guitar – Ben-Hur has directed international jazz camps for nearly 15 years. Jazz guitar star Russell Malone got it right when he said: “Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch.”
In addition to leading his own bands, Ben-Hur has shared the stage and the studio not only with the heroes and great peers mentioned above but with the likes of Cecil Payne, Etta Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Earl May, Teri Thornton and Bill Doggett. Ben-Hur regularly performs in the top jazz venues and in major festivals across the country and around the world. As an educator, he has established jazz programs in New York City high schools, along with presenting workshops for students of all ages in the U.S. and Europe. His instructional releases include the DVD Chordability (Motéma, 2011), which offers 20 lessons on chord voicings and jazz harmony for intermediate and advanced guitarists. He also translated “the Barry Harris method” to guitar with the publication Talk Jazz: Guitar (Mel Bay, 2003), which has appeared in English and Japanese editions.