Oberlin

Isaac ben Ayala '91, piano, composer


Isaac ben Ayala, born in Manhattan, New York City, is one of the most sought after pianists on the New York City music scene. He received his B.Mus. from the conservatory in 1991.

He was the principal accompanist for the Boys Choir of Harlem from 2005-07, and was pianist with James Spaulding, Leon Thomas, and Winard Harper. Ayala has performed and or recorded with a number of prominent bands and musicians including Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Louis Bellson, Leon Thomas, Frank Foster, David Murray, James Spaulding, Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the New York City Ballet, the Sultans of Swing, the Donald Byrd Dance Company, and Joe Piscipo.

His orchestral arrangements commissioned by Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans have been and are currently being performed by orchestras around the world.

Ayala has also scored the films Quincy Jones: In The Pocket (PBS American Masters), Of Color and Shades of Gray, and is heard on piano in the films Broadway, The American Musical (PBS American Masters), Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2006), Evening (2007), the Mark Twain Prize Honors Billy Crystal (2007), and Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters (2008)

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