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Rez Abbasi
United States
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2021 Guggenheim Fellow in composition and voted #1 "Rising-Star Guitarist" in 2013's DownBeat Critics Poll, and successively in the top-ten guitarists alongside Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny, guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi is among a rare breed of artists that continue to push boundaries while preserving the traditions he has embraced. "Abbasi is living, breathing proof that jazz music can be as vital and boundary-pushing as ever," AllAboutJazz.com.

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved 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 guidance of master percussionist Ustad Alla Rakha, Abbasi is a vivid synthesis of all the above-stated influences and genres. Making New York home for over 25 years, he has developed a unique sound both as a composer and an instrumentalist and is considered by many to be one of the foremost modern jazz guitar players the world over.

With twelve albums of mostly original compositions, Abbasi continues to forge new ground with his multiple projects. In 2017, Unfiltered Universe was released. It is Abbasi's third of a trilogy of albums with his group Invocation, featuring Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa. The compositions are based on his experiences performing with South Indian Classical musicians and dancers and were commissioned by Chamber Music America, his second commission from this prestigious institution. Abbasi was also recently commissioned by the New York Guitar Festival to create and perform live with his quintet, a new score for the 1929 silent film A Throw of Dice. The historic film is based on an episode from the Indian Sanskrit epic, The Mahabharata.
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