Roni Ben-Hur is a Tunisian-Israeli bebop jazz guitarist who emigrated to the United States in 1985. 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." In 2000, he won the Jazziz reader poll for "Best New Talent."

Ben-Hur has performed with Barry Harris, Ronnie Mathews, Rufus Reid, Chris Anderson, Cecil Payne, Walter Booker, Etta Jones, Marcus Belgrave, Charles McPherson, Leroy Williams, Charles Davis, John Hicks, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Amy London, Slide Hampton, Earl May, Teri Thornton, Lewis Nash, Steve Kroon, and Bill Doggett.

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.

He runs numerous jazz camps throughout the world.

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.

Biography

Roni Bohobza grew up in Dimona, the youngest of seven children, one of two born after the family emigrated from Tunisia in 1955. 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.

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.

Personal life

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