Avishai Cohen (bass)

Avishai Cohen (Hebrew AbySHy KHhn), is an Israeli jazz musician, composer, singer, and arranger. He was born April 20, 1970 in Kibbutz Kabri. Avishai was raised in Northern Israel’s Kibbutz Kabri musical family. At the age of nine, he began playing piano. He switched to bass guitar at 14 after being inspired by Jaco Pastorius, a legendary bassist. After playing for two years in an Army band, he started studying upright bass under Michael Klinghoffer. He moved to New York City two years later and made contact with jazz musicians. He struggled to get by in construction work at the beginning of his time there. He said that his first year at the school was the hardest. He had to play the bass on the streets, in subways, and in parks. After studying music at Mannes College, The New School for Music and playing Latin jazz with a few bands during his student years, Cohen received a call from pianist Danilo Perez inviting him to join his trio. After performing in small clubs for a while, Cohen received a call from Chick Corea who offered him a recording contract. He was a founding member Corea’s sextet Origin in 1996. His first four albums as a leader were released by Corea’s Stretch label. He was a member of Corea’s bands from 1996 to 2003 when he quit the Chick Corea New Trio. Now, Cohen performs with his own band, the Avishai Cohen Trio, which features Mark Guiliana (New Jersey) on drums and Shai Maestro (Israel) on piano). This group has released his later albums with a wider lineup that includes wind instruments. Avishai Cohen at the Moers Festival 2008. Cohen has performed, recorded, and accompanied many jazz musicians such as Bobby McFerrin (with Corea), Herbie Hancock (with Kurt Rosenwinkel), Nnenna Freedomlon, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Paquito D’Rivera) and Roy Hargrove (with Herbie Hancock). [2] Other collaborators are Claudia Acuna (Wind from the South 2000), Alicia Keys, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nnena Freelon and Paquito D’Rivera (studio recording) as well as the London Philharmonic Orchestras and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras. The Jerusalem Post referred to Cohen as the “undoubtedly most successful” export of Israeli jazz. Down Beat referred to Cohen as a “jazz visionary” and one of the 100 Most Influential Bass Players in the 20th Century. Chick Corea called Cohen a “great composer” and “a genius player”. Cohen’s distinctive sound is a mix of Middle-Eastern musical idioms, Eastern European and African-American musical styles. The New York Times described Cohen’s 2006 album Continuo, as having a “heavy Middle Eastern groove and a delicate, almost New Age lyricism”. from http://en.wikipedia.org

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