BIOGRAPHY

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1976, Ronen was fortunate to grow up in an environment that fostered his dreams of becoming a musician. He was raised in a music-loving family; both his parents and his older brother were music enthusiasts who enjoyed a large variety of music. Music was therefore a part of every day life, and Ronen’s up-bringing gave him many opportunities to cultivate his love for the art form.

At the age of six, Ronen took keyboard lessons for a year. This served as a great introduction to instrumental music and, later, helped him realize his interest in playing music professionally. At age fourteen, Ronen joined a band as a drummer and began to take drum lessons. Ronen's tastes expanded into the jazz world as he advanced further into his teens, and he continued playing in different bands. His talents allowed him to perform in many diverse venues in Israel. From early on in his musical endeavors, Ronen collaborated with renowned Israeli musicians, as well as guest artists from around the world. His experiences gave him a true international sensibility.

Ronen’s growing interest in music made him decide to pursue a career in music. In 1999, he joined Rimon School of Music, in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, where he began his path in higher education. Two years later he decided to relocate to the United States to further his education. He pursued his undergraduate degree at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, which he attended on a scholarship. In 2003, he graduated Suma Cum Laude and received his Bachelor of Music in Performance. Following graduation, he transitioned to Florida State University College of Music and obtained a Master of Music degree. As a scholarship recipient, Ronen gained college-teaching experience through a graduate teaching assistantship. 

After navigating the academic world of music, Ronen moved to New York City in order to pursue a career as a performer and composer. In 2005, Ronen began recording and performing with numerous artists and groups, covering many different styles, and has fit seamlessly into every role he has taken.  

He has since performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls and clubs in the world, such as The Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note (NYC), Smalls, Bimhuis (Amsterdam), A Train (Berlin), bFlat (Berlin), The JazzKeller (Frankfurt), Jazz at the Kitano, Iridium, Glenn Miller (Stockholm), Cornelia Street Café, Bar Next Door, The 55Bar, Fat Cat, and Joe's Pub. He has also performed in numerous festivals around the world, including Red Sea Jazz Festival (Israel), Tel Aviv Jazz Festival (Israel), Ear Shot Festival (Seattle), Barranquijazz (Colombia), Festival de Jazz Teatro Libre (Colombia), Pasto Jazz Festival (Colombia),  Brno Jazz Festival (Czech Republic), Alfa Jazz Festival (Ukraine), Vancouver Jazz Festival (Canada), Comblain La Tour Jazz Festival (Belgium), Universi Jazz (Spain), Brooklyn jazz Underground Festival, Queens Jazz Over Ground Festival, Chicago Israeli Jazz Festival, Chutzpah Festival (Vancouver), and Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto).

He has been mentioned in publications, including NPR, The New York Times, JAZZIZ, Jazz Improv, WBGO, All About Jazz, New York City Jazz Record, and About.com, as well as in the Israeli publications Maariv, Yediot, Haaretz and Jerusalem Post. 

He has performed and recorded with such jazz greats as Lee Konitz, Gary Burton, Kenny Werner, Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano, Marcus Roberts, Anat Cohen, Ben Monder, Hiromi Uehara, Arnie Lawrence, Alon Yavnai, Frank London, Wayne Escofferey, Billy Drewes, Johannes Weindermuller, Matt Penman, Francois Moutin, Tim Miller, Jon Cowherd, Marcus Printup, Vincent Gardner, Rich Perry, Harry Whitaker, Vardan Ovsepian, Longineu Parsons, Marcus Strickland, Eli Degibri, Ariel Zilber, and David Broza. His former teachers include Ian Froman, Jamey Hadad, Joe Hunt, John Hazilla, Marcus Roberts, Hal Crook, Yaaki Levi, and Eitan Itzkovich.

Ronen has appeared in albums from different labels, including Fresh Sound, Inner Circle, Jazz Family, Daywood Drive, Alessa Records, and Hatav Hashmini. Since his arrival in the U.S., Ronen has been an active member of numerous collaborations and bands, such as Morning Bound, Augmented Reality, Vadim Neselovskyi’s Agricultural Dreams Trio, The Tammy Scheffer Sextet, Josh Deutsch’s Pannonia, Juan Ospina Big Band, The Uri Gurvich Quartet, Josh Davis’ Love Salad, Moon Salutation, The Shay Salhov Trio, The Noa Fort Trio, The Tamuz Nissim Group, The Kat Vokes Group, The Bill Peterson Trio, The Jacob Teichroew Quintet, James Hall’s Thousand Rooms Quartet, The Assaf Kehati Trio, The Ori Dakari Quartet, and many more. He has established his reputation as one of the most sought-after drummers and in-demand recording artists in New York City.

© 2016 by Ronen Itzik

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