“I could easily write a book about Israeli jazz musicians or at least a chapter on The Three Cohens, two brothers and a sister from Tel Aviv, who have achieved stardom together and separately.
Anat Cohen has been leading Downbeat polls as the top clarinet player for years, and she is also a powerful sax player. Her latest album, “Luminosa,” is focused on Brazilian music. (The Brazilian Press hailed her as “an Israeli who seems like a Brazilian when she plays samba.”)
Trumpeter Avishai Cohen, Anat’s brother, has just released his first album on the ECM label, “Into the Silence.” This is a haunting CD in which Avishai’s muted trumpet expresses the pain of loss. The album is a jazz instrumental requiem for his father. He wrote most of the tunes in the six months after his father’s death.”
“‘What a lot of people associate it with is squeaking,’ she said with a laugh. ‘We still have to overcome the notion that clarinet squeaks.
‘People need to remember what a beautiful instrument it is, including in popular music,’ she added.
Back in the 1930s and 40s, clarinetists such as the “King of Swing” Benny Goodman made the instrument the star of dance bands until swing music fell from favor after World War II.
‘People stopped hearing it on the radio and in popular music,’ Cohen said.
Anat Cohen, who appears tonight at St. Cecilia Music Center, is proud to be a clarinetist just the same.”
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Clarinetist (and sometime saxophonist) Anat Cohen is a one-woman music-blender. Born and raised in Tel Aviv and now living in New York, Anat lays out a world of influences in almost every song she plays. Jazz, classical, klezmer, tango, Brazilian — whatever style or genre of music you can think of, you’ll hear at least echoes of it in Ms. Cohen’s music if you listen long enough. (And by "long enough" we mean, like, an evening’s performance from her and her band.)
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"Featured on more than 21 albums, Cohen released her seventh record as a bandleader earlier this year on her label Anzic Records entitled Luminosa. Luminosa features Cohen playing singing/dancing originals, Brazilian classics by the likes of Milton Nascimento, and even re-imagining electronica as acoustica with an ingenious arrangement of a Flying Lotus tune. Luminosa showcases Cohen’s world beat influences spanning from Afro-Cuban, Argentinean, Klezmer, contemporary Brazilian music and classic Brazilian choro.
Voted Clarinetist of the Year for 8 years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, Cohen has also topped both the Critics and Readers Polls in the clarinet category in DownBeat magazine every year since 2011. Cohen has headlined at the legendary jazz venue the Village Vanguard and performed at every major Jazz Festival in the U.S. including Newport, Umbria, San Francisco and North Sea Jazz Festivals. In 2014 she served as the Music Director for the “Newport Jazz Festival Now 60! All-Star Band Tour.”"
“On November 12, SFJAZZ presented a performance as a part of its long-standing series at Grace Cathedral, on top of Nob Hill in San Francisco. This series of performances, in co-operation with the cathedral staff, offers musicians a unique opportunity to present music of an especially creative kind. The music is linked to the Cathedral, which is a gigantic building with terrifically high ceilings. It is a giant stone chamber with deep and unpredictable resonance. Not even the latest recording technology could possibly recreate sounds like this, changing as the musicians change their own positions. Yet many recordings have been done inside the structure, listed on the cathedral web site. The most famous jazz concert in the cathedral was by Duke Ellington, who performed his “Sacred Concert” on September 16, 1965. There is a recording of this event, still available. More recently, in September 2015, SFJAZZcelebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Ellington concert with a new version scored and directed by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon (see review here). SFJAZZ had previously celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Ellington show as well.”
““This year we decided to celebrate women in jazz with three red hot concerts — Anat Cohen, Tammy McCann and Dee Dee Bridgewater,” said President and CEO Mark George. “As long as jazz has existed, there was tremendous amounts of discrimination against female jazz players. But in the present day, great female jazz musicians have been born. We want to acknowledge that struggle but also celebrate the present because there are so many amazing musicians now who happen to be women.”
First up at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 is Anat Cohen with her Quartet. The Israeli clarinetist and tenor sax player was voted Clarinetist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist Association for eight consecutive years. “She’s very charismatic,” George said. “She has an open mind to all kinds of musical influences.”“
"It’s always a privilege to get to hear world-class music played at Grace Cathedral, the incredibly beautiful church perched high atop Nob Hill in San Francisco. Experience it for yourself when SFJazz presents Sacred Space: Celebrating the Clarinet at the cathedral on Nov. 13. The concert features four of the best reed players on the planet — clarinet specialists Anat Cohen and Don Byron, bass clarinet great Todd Marcus and World Saxophone Quartet founder David Murray. With a cast like that — and a venue like Grace Cathedral — this should be a night to remember."
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“Few musicians capture the global essence of jazz like Anat Cohen.
After moving from Tel Aviv, Israel to Boston, Mass. to study at Berklee College of Music, clarinetist Anat Cohen developed an ear and a fluency in Afro-Latin music, which she will showcase this Saturday, Nov. 7 at Miller Theatre in a concert titled “Celebrando Brasil.” Cohen will be performing with her quartet, which features pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Tal Mashiach, and drummer Daniel Freedman, and she will also be joined onstage by various special guests.
Spectator had a chance to speak with Cohen ahead of “Celebrando Brasil” on topics ranging from her recent album “Luminosa,” which features Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo and a Flying Lotus cover, to her transition into becoming a musician in the U.S.”
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“Clarinetist Anat Cohen’s transcendent appearances with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra last February are still resonating. ‘I loved the trip to Seattle, loved meeting all the people there, theSRJO and other musicians. It was great time, and a wonderful hang,’ she said. ‘Everybody there is so nice.’ Her latest CD, ‘Luminosa’ features a number of beautiful Brazilian melodies.”
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“Moving from the disappointing to the sublime, the Cohen clan—tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Anat, soprano saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai, teamed with pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.—shaped the tightest, smartest, most satisfying set of the entire festival. Highlights: a dark, sensuous slither through Ellington’s “The Mooch”; the becalmed majesty of Anat’s clarinet, roiled by a stormy Yuval solo on Fred Hersch’s “Song Without Words”; the siblings’ delightful union on the meandering “A Capella”; a trio of sparkling Yuval gems—his playful, frisky “Blues for Dandi’s Orange Bull Chasing an Orange Sack” (for his young daughter, in attendance in the front row), wildly uplifting “Freedom” and warm, gentle “Family”; and, to close, a bright, spirited “Tiger Rag.” As charming and funny as they were dynamic, the Cohens were also the only festival act to make a point of meeting and greeting audience members after the performance, offering to sign CDs and pose for photos.”
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"The Boston-born pianist-turned-impresario was then feted by a lineup of musicians who had played with him many times at the festival as the Newport All-Stars -- with trumpeter Randy Brecker, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen, guitarist Howard Alden, drummer Lewis Nash, and bassist Jay Leonhart. Wein invited pianist Frank Kimbrough to fill in for him because his hearing difficulties make it difficult to play a full set."
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