Roni Ben-Hur

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Roni Ben-Hur
Roni Ben-Hur
Roni Ben-Hur
Background information
Birth name Roni Bohobza[1]
Born (1962-07-09) July 9, 1962 (age 54)[1]
Dimona, Israel
Origin Tel Aviv, Israel
Genres Jazz, Bebop, Latin jazz
Occupation(s) musician
Instruments guitar
Years active 1981–present
Labels Motéma Music
Reservoir Records
Associated acts Amy London
Barry Harris
Nilson Matta
Gene Bertoncini
Rufus Reid
Lewis Nash
Ronnie Mathews

Roni Ben-Hur is an Israeli jazz guitarist who emigrated to the United States in 1985. His parents were originally from Tunisia.


Roni Bohobza grew up in Dimona, the youngest of seven children, one of two born after the family emigrated from Tunisia in 1955.[2] His surname was legally changed to Ben-Hur via ritual at age 10. He performed in clubs and wedding bands in Tel Aviv from the age of 19. He arrived in New York City in 1985 and began playing jazz clubs there. He spent a lot of time at Barry Harris's Jazz Cultural Theater and met many of the great living jazz artists there.

Ben-Hur's experience as an educator goes back to 1981, when, while still in Israel. Since coming to the United States he has set up jazz music programs at Professional Performing Arts School, The Coalition School for Social Change, and other New York area high schools. He created a model jazz program for use in New York City high schools at the request of Bette Midler. He began the jazz program at Lucy Moses School in 1992, and remains there.[1]

Ben-Hur first began a jazz camp in Saint Cezaire, Côte d'Azure, France with Santi Debriano. With Nilson Matta, he began a jazz and Brazilian music camp in Bar Harbor, Maine, both intended for adult jazz amateurs. Ben-Hur is also the founding director of the jazz program at the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center in Manhattan, where he educates others about the genre.

His third CD, Anna's Dance, was rated by The Village Voice as one of the best jazz CDs of 2001. All About Jazz called him "a virtuoso guitarist with impeccable swing."[3] In 2000, he won the Jazziz reader poll for "Best New Talent."

His 2004 book, Talk Jazz: Guitar from the Mel Bay Talk Jazz series is now out of print and much sought after by jazz guitarists. The book includes a CD with a removable guitar track of Ben-Hur performing the exercises in the book with Tardo Hammer on piano, Earl May on bass, and Leroy Williams on drums.[4]

Ben-Hur lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with his wife, singer Amy London, and their two daughters, Sofia and Anna.[5]


  • Backyard (TCB 1996)
  • Sofia's Butterfly (TCB 1998)
  • Anna's Dance (Reservoir Records 2001)
  • Signature (Reservoir 2005)
  • Keepin’ It Open (Motéma Music 2007)
  • Smile (with Gene Bertoncini, Motéma 2008)
  • Fortuna (Motéma 2009)
  • Mojave (with Nilson Matta, Motéma 2011)
  • Our Thing (with Santi Debriano, bass; Duduka Da Fonseca, drums; Motéma 2012)


  1. ^ a b c "Ben-Hur (Roni Bohobza)". The Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. 
  2. ^ Canter, Andrea (February 9, 2011). "Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur Performs at the St. Paul JCC on February 12th". Jazz Police. 
  3. ^ "Roni Ben-Hur". All About Jazz. 
  4. ^ Amazon lisiting.
  5. ^ LaGorce, Tammy (April 6, 2008). "For Longtime Jazz Singer, Latest Success Is Sweet". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2011. She sang in the Tony Award winning musical City of Angels from 1989 to 1992 before moving to Teaneck in 1998 with her husband, the jazz guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, and their daughters Sofia, now 12, and Anna, now 9. 

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