The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet is from New York City. Their music is inspired by the great masters of Jazz – Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie – and the Quartet members learned to play under the guidance of the living legends of Jazz in New York.The Quartet performs songs from the Golden Age of Jazz (1930’s – 1950’s), and their own original compositions have been celebrated by the international jazz press. In addition to their performances in New York and busy touring schedule, they direct international Jazz programs bringing young musicians from around the world together to play Jazz.
Ari Roland, double bass – A fully professional jazz bassist in New York City at 16, Ari also received classical training for 5 years at The Juilliard School. He has toured and recorded with many of the most significant figures in jazz, including Barry Harris, Betty Carter, Lou Donaldson, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts and Harry Connick Jr., and his CDS have received widespread critical acclaim. As a “Jazz Ambassador” for the US Department of State, he has traveled to 40 countries for over 100 cultural diplomacy tours.
Zaid Nasser, alto saxophone – Born and raised in New York, Zaid is the son of jazz and blues master Jamil Nasser and learned directly from the legends of jazz. At 19, he returned to Memphis, the birthplace of the blues, playing for two years with blues icon Calvin Newborn. Returning to New York, he was a featured soloist with Panama Frances’ “Savoy Sultans”, and with the pioneering jazz organist Bill Doggett. He has toured throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, bringing jazz and blues to new audiences, and his recordings have been included on many “Top 10″ of the Year” critic’s lists.
Chris Byars, tenor saxophone – A native of New York City, Chris began his professional career singing with The Metropolitan Opera Company at 6 years old, taking up the saxophone at age 14. He is equally recognized as an outstanding composer and arranger, having received prestigious awards and commissions from many organizations, including The Tanne Foundation and Chamber Music America. Chris has been on the faculty of Jazz At Lincoln Center, and was the recipient of a major grant for bringing the music of Bashir Quasam into the New York City Public School System.
Keith Balla, drums – Born in Austin, Texas, Keith moved to New York City in 2004, beginning his professional career in the city at the age of 17. In addition to appearances in US and international jazz festivals, he performs regularly in New York with many of the city’s dynamic young jazz artists. He has conducted jazz drum clinics in over 30 countries, and continues to record in New York. His musical maturity has made him a favorite of many of New York’s most respected veteran drummers.
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