Born and raised in Israel, Dassi Rosenkrantz started her music training as a classical pianist. While serving in the Israel Defence Force (IDF), she began to play the bass guitar, which led to her performing with local artists and bands exploring many different genres of music. She established herself as one of the first female freelance musicians in Israel at the time, performing with renowned artists such as Adam, Margalit Tzan’ani, Habatlanim, Aliza Aviv, Tzvika Pick and others. She became a member of the house band for the TV show Sof Sof, and also performed with the band Shunra with Dan Toren, whose song “Lavan al Lavan” from their LP On All Fours became a huge hit in Israel.
In 1998, Dassi came to New York City to study with bassist Anthony Jackson at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM). Following a semester studying Jazz at MSM, she began an extensive study of Afro-Caribbean music with teachers such as Guillermo Edghill (bass), Louis Bauza (Latin percussion), Eddie Martinez (piano), and the late, great Ray Santos (arranging).
She co-founded the group La Noreste and, in addition to being the band leader, she was a co-writer, arranger, bass player, and background vocalist. The band featured many top musicians, and performed in NYC venues including the Weill Auditorium in Carnegie Hall. Some of the band’s original songs were featured in two films, Ed’s Next Move and Everything Relative.
Dassi continued her study of music theory, harmony, and counterpoint with Dr. Phillip Lasser and Mark Shapiro, and joined the European-American Music Alliance’s (EAMA) summer composition program in Paris’s Schola Cantorum.
Inspired by a visit to Puerto Rico, Dassi wrote “El Yunque," a piano composition for four hands. A visit to Monet’s house in Giverny motivated her to compose a string quartet, “Une Visite á Giverny,” which was performed by the FLUX Quartet at a concert by EAMA composers in Steinway Hall, New York City.
Dassi later attended SUNY Purchase, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Studio Production, and studied with Grammy Award composer Joel Thome. For her final project, she composed new music with unique instrumentation for the movie Nosferatu the Vampyre, which was performed live at the movie screening.
Dassi continued to play bass with various bands covering many different genres of music, including Brazilian, Dominican, Haitian, Persian, Armenian, and Greek. She performed with the all-female rock band, Unearthing Victoriam, appearing in numerous rock clubs in NYC.
For many years, Dassi worked with the multi-ethnic music and dance group Retumba! as their music director and arranger. In addition to playing bass and percussion, she produced their live debut recording !Retumba! Live.
Dassi toured and recorded with renowned late Jewish singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman as both bass player and musical director. She arranged and produced Friedman's CDs The Alef Beit and The Water in the Well, and performed with her on the main stage at Carnegie Hall and in other venues across the US and Canada.
With Afroditee, another all-female collaborative music project, Dassi performed songs in both English and Spanish. Afroditee was the recipient of a grant from the NYS Council for the Arts. The title song from the band’s CD, Sex in NYC, was used as promo for the show Sex and the City on TBS and in cinemas around the US. In addition to composing and arranging for the project, Dassi was the musical director and producer, played bass and sang.
Her innovative bass playing is also featured on the acclaimed albums Bardo and Still Chillin’ by the late New Age pioneer Gabrielle Roth. More recently, she produced the CDs Words and Tripple Green for Solar Sound Band, who have performed in venues and festivals in New York City and the Hudson Valley.
Dassi has worked as a teaching artist and as a music teacher for over 20 years, and is a participant in the Music Educators Workshop in Carnegie Hall. In addition, she is also a fellow of The Academy of Teachers.
BA & MA Studio Production and Composition, SUNY Purchase