Avishai Cohen earned his reputation as one of the world’s greatest bassists, and as leader of his own projects over the last two decades and through his many performances with Chick Corea in his early years. It is however as a composer that his musical statement has grown through his rich compositions with vocals in Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino that combine his Israeli roots with his contemporary jazz background. His latest project, Avishai Cohen with Strings, is the culmination of this musical journey.
‘The charm comes from the fact that two worlds are coming together:
classical chamber music and jazz.’ (Avishai Cohen, 2012)
At the centre of Cohen’s music is a string quartet with a difference; Cohen has replaced one of the violins with a viola in order to benefit from its darker timbre and create more depth. An oboist is added to the ensemble and joins Cohen’s core trio with young talents; Nitai Hershkovits on piano and Ofri Nehemya on drums.
Cohen’s warm vocals subtly create a mood that compliments the luscious instrumentation on his own compositions. His performances will include arrangements of several Israeli love songs, such as ‘Nigun Atik’ by the poet Nathan Alterman and melodies from Mordechai Ze’ira, one of Cohen’s favourite composers. Ladino songs have also been arranged for strings, including the Argentine song ‘Alfonsina Y El Mar’, along with the powerful centrepiece of Avishai’s own ‘Concerto’.
Expect an evening of exquisite and moving music from this inspired Israeli composer and dynamic performer supported by a truly gifted ensemble.
Avishai Cohen – double bass & vocals
Nitai Hershkovits – piano
Ofri Nehemya – drums
Cordelia Hagmann – violin
Amit Landau – viola
Noam Haimovitz Weinschel – viola
Yael Shapira – cello & vocals
Yoram Lachish – oboe
Avishai Cohen will be touring with his new strings project throughout May, June and October this year.
To view all tour dates, click HERE. More shows are regularly being added.
Photo credit: Jana Ketzel