Ask Assaf

Email me any question and get my answer posted on this page! (scroll down)

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I will do my best to answer a few questions every week.

Thanks for staying in touch!


JR: When did you start playing?

AK: I started playing piano when I was 10 years old. Then, after one year of piano lessons, I started taking guitar lessons. I also took one year of violin lessons when I was 20 years old.

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AW: What is it like to work with Billy Hart?

AK: Billy Hart is a great inspiration. His rhythm, sound, energy and musicality are one of a kind. I’m learning a lot by playing with him and I feel it is a great privilege to be playing with someone that played and learned from all the great masters before him like Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis among others. Each generation passes on knowledge and wisdom to the next generation and it is one of the most beautiful aspects of jazz.

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JA: When is your next CD will be released?

AK: I am currently working on materials for my next CD and I believe it will be recorded toward the end of 2012, and will be released in 2013.

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GP: What is your approach to composition?

AK: I write all my songs spontaneously, I don’t plan to compose and it starts by itself either with a thought, a feeling, a story in mind (real or imaginary), or just without thinking about anything specifically and the music just start by itself from a musical idea that came to my head or to my fingers. I complete a piece on the same day, usually 1-3 hours after the initial phrase was laid down. If the song didn’t pick up any direction after 10 minutes, I leave it and don’t go back to the idea later.

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SC: Do you teach?

AK: Yes, I give private lessons at my studio in the Boston area and also teach a Tufts University from time to time as a guest lecturer. Another type of teaching is master classes, and I do that usually when I tour.

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EB: What do you like to eat?

AK: I like to eat any good homemade food, also meat, Italian food, anything you cook for the whole night in the oven, Israeli food, and lots of sweets like cakes and ice creams!

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CR: What music do you listen to?

AK: Among my favorite artist are Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Sting, Paul Desmond, Vivaldi, Doug Raney, Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Coltrane, Joey Calderazzo, Yehuda Poliker, Brian Blade, Keith Jarrett, João Bosco, Matti Caspi, Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter.

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TP: What are your hobbies?

AK: Yoga, scuba diving, late night walks, skateboard, snowboard.

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