Avishai Cohen


Avishai grew up part of a musical family in a Northern Israel kibbutz. He began piano at age 9. But soon after, inspired by Jaco Pastorius, he turned to bass guitar. After a stint in the Army band he hit his stride, studying upright bass with master, Michael Klinghoffer. Moving to New York put him in touch with a vast array of jazz musicians, and he earned some hard musical experience playing on the streets, subways and in parks. His reward was more music education, a multitude performances with Ravi Coltrane, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D'Rivera and most importantly with Daniel Perez and Chick Corea.

Always involved in a myriad of projects, Avishai says, "I'm always packed with ideas. I decided to start my own label because I'm involved in so many projects." Avishai's signature sound is a blend of Middle-Eastern, eastern European and African-American idioms. "Surprise", he says, "is a crucial element of life and of creative flair. For as long as I can play music this sense of freedom will guide me. In a duo or a quintet, whatever, it's me."

The Jerusalem Post acknowledges him as "undoubtedly the most successful" of Israel's jazz exports; according to Down Beat he's a "jazz visionary of global proportions"; voted one of the 100 most influential bass players of the 20th century by Bass Player magazine; and "a great composer" as well as "a genius musician" by the great Chick Corea himself.