Avi Granite

Avi Granite, a Canadian-born composer and guitarist, resides in New York. “Snow Umbrellas,” his most recent album, is an album of original compositions. It was recorded by Avi Granite’s Vere, a New York quartet that includes Ralph Alessi, Jerry DeVore and Owen Howard. Granite moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue a masters degree at New York University. He had the privilege of studying with Joe Lovano, Tony Moreno and John Scofield while at NYU. Granite also established Avi Granite’s Graphic Tongue in New York, which was a continuation of his Banff Centre for the Arts’ graphical composition process. Graphic Tongue is an ensemble that performs this particular body of work. It features Michael Attias (saxophone), Evan Crane (bass) and Tiffany Chang (drums). Avi Granite:5, a self-titled album, was released in 2006 as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Granite released this album as a leader, performing his own compositions. They toured throughout the region and eventually grew to six members. Granite was awarded a composition residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in December 2006. During this time, he wrote 9 pieces for an eleven-piece band. Granite began to explore the graphical possibilities of composition while on this residency. Granite created “Inside”, a composition that encourages and encourages improvisation by all musicians, regardless of their musical style. The piece was performed by many musicians, including The Yves Ensemble of Holland (Holland) and The Motion Ensemble of Canada (Canada). The Avi Granite:6 was soon formed. The Canada Council for the Arts helped the AG:6 record “Avi Granite:6 – Red Tree”, which would be Granite’s second album as a leader. All new compositions were featured in “Red Tree”, which received high praise from many media outlets. It was also included in Downbeat Magazine’s Top CDs of 2008. As part of the Rising Stars series, a performance was made at the 2008 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Granite and Neal Davis, the AG:6 bass player, traveled to Europe with Granite in 2008, making stops in Switzerland, Denmark, and Denmark to perform with Christoph Grab, Marius Peyer, and Kevin Brow. Granite was born in Toronto, Ontario and began studying piano and classical guitar at an early age. Granite gave up these traditional music styles at the age of 10, but his musical journey continued. Granite discovered visual art and other expressive media, but his focus returned to music at age 18. He realized that music was his true passion. At Humber College, he graduated from the Jazz Studies Bachelor Program. There, he was able to study with Pat LaBarbera and Don Thompson as well as Ted Quinlan, and other respected members of Canada’s jazz community. Granite founded Pet Mantis Records in that same year, an independent record label devoted to the promotion and release of improvisation-based music. “Nautilus Improvised Organic Breaks: Three Cuts in London” was the first CD to be released by PMR. This trio of improvisers focused on the groove and beats that were popular in the Drum ‘n bass and Jungle musics of the day. Granite met Nautilus bassist Scott Peterson one year before recording together. Granite had been attending the Banff Jazz Workshop where he studied with Kenny Werner and Jim Black, among others. From www.avigranite.com

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