available now on Mighty Quinn Records

Love Letters, the new recording from guitarist/composer/educator Roni Ben-Hur is yet another testament to support the fact that the guitarist is widely respected by his peers, and the press, as one of the jazz-elite. Guitarist Russell Malone comments that, "Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch.” The late, esteemed journalist Nat Hentoff of The Wall Street Journal praised Ben-Hur’s duet release, Smile, with Gene Bertoncini, as “a lyrically meditative dialogue.” With Love Letters, the latest masterpiece in his forty-plus year career of performing, composing, recording and teaching jazz, Ben-Hur gives us a musical mosaic that invites us to reconnect with what matters most in life. For Ben-Hur, what matters most are the intimate moments he and his band members create and share with each other and with audiences around the world.

BIO   guitarist / recording artist / educator  

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 flame alive and pure, burning in every note… He’s a guitarist who knows the changes and his own mind.” Roni – born in Israel in 1962 but a longtime American citizen, based in the New York City area – has recorded a dozen-plus albums as leader or co-leader, with The New York Times praising his “crisp, fluid style” and Time Out New York calling him “a formidable and consummately lyrical guitarist.” He has developed a rare facility in both straight-ahead jazz and samba/bossa-nova styles, underscored by his work with masters in each field, from bebop piano sage Barry Harris to beloved Brazilian vocalist Leny Andrade.  

Roni’s newest album as a leader is Stories, released by Dot Time Records in March 2021; its poetic mix of songs and instrumentals sees the guitarist drawing a line from childhood musical memories in Israel to his life today as a globally minded artist. JazzTimes, in its glowing review of Stories, noted the guitarist’s inspired interplay with such diverse talents as pianist George Cables and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, as well as vocalists from Israel and Mexico; the review went on to laud Roni and company’s brand of storytelling as “distinctive” and “uniformly engaging.” Always an educator as well as a performer, Roni has directed the jazz program at New York’s Kaufman Music Center for more than 25 years. Along with creating acclaimed educational products – such as the method book Talk Jazz: Guitar – Roni has also directed international music camps for two decades, currently leading his Roni Ben-Hur Jazz Camp in Vermont and France. Jazz guitar star Russell Malone got it right when he said: “Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch.”