Assaf was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 2007, Gleizner moved to the United States, where he received a scholarship to earn his BMus in jazz performance at SUNY Purchase. There, he studied with the jazz greats Charles Blenzieg, Hal Galper, Todd Coolman, Pete Malenverny, Jimmy Green, Kenny Washington, David Hazeltine, Arturo O’Ferril and Jon Faddis.
Assaf has since played in a number of venues throughout the tri-state such as Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club and Birdland, along with many others.
As a sideman, he performed and toured throughout Western New York and Canada, playing and arranging for the award winning singer Cyrille Aimee. Together, they were guest artists for the company: “Les 7 doigts de la main”, a Montreal based circus troupe.
As a Musical Director, Assaf worked with Fordham University’s Theater club: “Splinter Group”. The group had performed 3 original revues and one original full length Musical titled: 1998 Degrees. In 2011, the cast of 1998 Degrees had recorded an album with all the songs in the show. In 2010, Assaf joined the Stage Left Children’s Theater Team as the Musical director.
Most recently, Assaf has formed the group Trio Shalva with fellow Israeli musicians Nadav Snir-Zelniker and Koby Hayon. Here, he fuses his heritage with his vast musical training by performing classic Israeli songs, as well as his own compositions in a Jazz setting. These combine two of the many facets of Gleizner's musicality: a cultural legacy along with his malleable and innovative jazz technique. This trio released their debut album Riding Alone on January 1st, 2011.
Born and raised in Israel, each of the musicians eventually found themselves in the heart of New York, where they spent years developing their individual style and technique.
In 2009, Assaf Gleizner (Piano, Melodica), Koby Hayon ( Bass, Acoustic Guitar , Oud), andNadav Snir-Zelniker (Drums, Percussion) came together for their first gig, in which they performed original compositions and arrangements of traditional Israeli repertoire. It only took one show for them to understand the serendipitous connection that was underway. In result, the three musicians moved forward as Trio Shalva, choosing the name for its representation of the Hebrew word for “serenity”.
Trio Shalva has shared their music at renowned venues such as The Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount, NY, Westchester Arts Council, The Westchester Conservatory, State University of New York, Purchase, synagogues, community centers, non-profits and various venues in New York City.
“These seasoned jazz musicians can be downright serene and mellow, lulling listeners into a trance, but they’re experts at dynamics and can bring songs from a simmer to a boil in an organic build up that can be jarring in its effortlessness.” “Due perhaps to their common heritage, they gel well, handing off parts and solos seamlessly. Their lush ensemble sound is greater than the sum of its parts and they kept their endings tight.”
“[Assaf Gleizner’s] playing is virtuoistic when it needs to be, simple and sparse when that is appropriate…”
“…The musicianship shown by this group is outstanding.”
“…Gleizner plays clean and with clarity, he seems to know exactly where he is going. His solos are logical and make sense. He goes "outside" just enough to make me pay attention and want keep listening closely so I can see where it all winds up…”
“…Riding Alone is good, solid, highly listenable album that will satisfy both the hard core jazz buff and the casual listener…”
“…I hope these guys achieve both the artistic and commercial success they deserve….”
“…The trio works as a close-knit unit with a lot of mutual respect, listening and complimenting each other. The approach is basically mellow, with emphasis on melody, but the improvisations are interesting and the level of musicianship excellent at all times. Most importantly they manage to avoid being trivial, which is always the greatest danger, when playing standards.”
“The album is appealing both to relatively inexperienced Jazz listeners, who can follow the melodic lines, and the connoisseurs, who can enjoy the sophisticated arrangement and the intricate tricks of the trade.”
“…Trio Shalva values talking with, never over, each other…”
“Trio Shalva also displays an affinity for Middle Eastern sound…” “…On “Misirlou,” the trio embraces tango and Latin music. Trio Shalva’s performance on this track… begins as a waltz with Gleizner’s “Bolero”-type playing before everyone builds in momentum where his Latin jazz-flavored solo is propelled by Zelniker’s shifting, speedier accompaniment. As the solo continues building, the trio shows how they can also flat-out swing when needed.”
“…For the closer, “Erev Shel Shoshanim,” everyone abandons their main axes. Gleizner plays melodica, Hayon plays nylon string guitar and Zelniker plays frame drum…With this track, a story played by the trio and imagined by the listener unfolds the way they would individually envision it.”
“…Cyrille-Aimee... along with pianist Assaf Gleizner, holds the show together with impressive original jazz, rock, and pop numbers, along with two arrangements by Thierry Angers.”