“The fallacy of being lost in ornamental doodling is the risk of every jazz guitarist, but it's completely absent in Neiman's almost ascetic play. This doesn't mean that his playing is simple; far from it…” - Jakob Baekgaard All About Jazz
Guitarist Oren Neiman’s music is both innovative and in the forefront of today’s jazz styles, as well as being celebrated for his technical precision. His compositions explore a combination of Jazz sensibility with Middle Eastern rhythms and melody.
Born in Ramat-Gan, Israel, and raised in Toronto, Canada, and Israel, he grew up listening to many different kinds of music, He started playing mainly in rock bands, but soon became interested in jazz. He started studying the music, and playing in various venues around Israel. Oren considers both of his cultural backgrounds to be integral to his music and has a strong connection with both countries.
In August 2001, Oren moved to NY, where he received his BFA from SUNY Purchase, studying and playing with John Abercrombie, Pete Malinverni, and Charles Blenzig. During his school years, Oren was a recipient of the Ullendorff memorial foundation Scholarship. After graduating, Oren continued his studies with master teacher Bobby Hansman who helped him to further his search for his own voice on the instrument.
Oren’s current projects include: Recording and performing with The Oren Neiman Quartet: with their second album “Frolic and Detour” released in April 2009, the band is currently performing in support of the album.
The OrchesTorah project: Premiered March 2007 at Makor’s MANifest, this project is a large (9-piece) ensemble that plays music Oren wrote in response to biblical narratives, beginning with a trilogy of city inspired pieces. This project has developed into an educational program that includes audience text exploration and performance of the pieces. The energetic acoustic duo “IsraAlien” led by fellow Israeli guitar player Gilad Ben Zvi, this duo delves into the world of Mediterranean gypsy music and is currently touring in support of their first self-titled release “IsraAlien” ( April 2009 )
Producing and performing in “Nigunim – A Festival of New Improvised Jewish Music”, Oren and co-director Koby Hayon put together this festival in 2009 to create a stage in Westchester NY for their music as well as other performers of this genre.
Oren has regularly performed with his quartet in NY venues like The Bitter End, Detour, Joe’s Pub, The 55 Bar, Cornelia St. Cafe and Makor, as well as touring nationally and internationally (most recently Spain, Canada and Israel). Oren was also an Artist in Residence at the 92nd St. Y, as well as a participant in the 2008 Banff Centre Jazz Residency Program, and has received the 2009 Arts Alive project grant from Westchester Arts Council.
“Neiman’s new recording (Frolic and Detour), with a new quartet, is quite a unique statement. It is predominantly Jazzy, but it also touches upon ethnic themes and rhythmic patterns, often using odd meters and unusual harmony. Also the unusual sound blend of the guitar / trumpet combination gives the listener the impression of hearing something innovative and rarely attempted before.” - Adam Baruch www.jazzis.com