Israeli/Bostonian jazz guitarist Assaf Kehati has been performing with legendary drummer Billy Hart and up-and-coming bassist Noam Wiesenberg in the past year. For the recent Regattabar concert, Kehati’s trio expanded to a quartet after renowned saxophonist Eli Degibri (Al Foster’s Band) joined the group. The quartet plays both Kehati’s and Hart’s original compositions as well as jazz standards by composers such as Arthur Altman, Irving Berlin and Ray Noble. His debut CD “A View From My Window” with his all time favorite Israeli musicians was released in January 2010.
Assaf Kehati arrived to Boston in 2007 after finishing his jazz studies at prestigious Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music (member of Berklee International Network), Israel. He has been exposed to music since he was born. His grandmother was a professional pianist from whom he learned his first music notes. He started to play piano and guitar at the age of ten, later followed by classical violin. After being involved with different music styles for nearly ten years, he started to take interest in jazz.
Shortly after, he was accepted to Rimon School. A few months into his jazz studies, he already became the winner of a number of local jazz awards, including the third place of “the Jazz Player” national competition in Israel. He also became a member of internationally recognized Rimon Honors Ensemble, “Hot Jazz”, which featured famous Australian jazz fusion guitarist, Frank Gambale.
While in Israel, Kehati performed with many prominent musicians including Alon Farber (Fresh Sound Label), Shai Chen, Haggai Amir and Daniel Sapir (Yehuda Poliker Band). He appeared at the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, Channel 22 TV, Shablul Jazz Club, Machtesh Ramon Jazz Festival and at the Israel National Festival in Jerusalem.
After receiving a scholarship to pursue his graduate studies at New England Conservatory, he moved to Boston and was immediately noticed by such famous artists and faculty members as Ran Blake, George Garzone and Billy Hart, who later joined his trio.
In Boston, Kehati has performed at Jordan Hall, New England Cable News, The Beehive, WHRB Radio, Boston University, Brandeis University, Savant Project and Slades. In Canada, Kehati performed at Banff Centre Jazz Club and in Eric Harvie Theatre.
Nowadays, in addition to his quartet with Billy Hart and Eli Degibri, Kehati performs with Tammy Scheffer, Adam Bartczak’s Republic and the Israeli Jazz Group.
Kehati’s recent compositions are inspired by the daily and trivial, yet wonderful and significant experiences of life: from a winter, snow-laden view of Fenway Park from his apartment porch (A View From My Window), to the mundane but satisfying life of a snail (Sunshine Berale), to a story of exodus with mixed feelings of freedom, pride, fear, and hope (Passover). His imagination has been fed over the years by a wide range of influences such as Berlioz, Kenny Rogers, Pat Metheny, Sting, and Gershwin.