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Israelis You Should Know: Avishai Cohen

Name: Avishai Cohen

Age: 46

About him: Avishai Cohen is an Israeli jazz bassist, singer, and composer.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, so today we're bringing you an Israeli You Should Know who has made his name in the field of jazz music.

Avishai Cohen was born into a musical family near Jerusalem. Taking up piano at the age of 9, Avishai switched to bass guitar at 14, inspired by bass great Jaco Pastorius. After playing electric bass during his IDF service, Avishai learned the upright bass and moved to New York City. While studying jazz there, Avishai struggled to make ends meet at first, working construction jobs and playing music in the subway and in parks.

Avishai's hard work paid off, when in 1996 he was offered a record contract by jazz legend Chick Corea, and played with Corea until 2003. Now he leads his own group, the Avishai Cohen Trio, and has played with such jazz luminaries as Herbie Hancock and Bobby McFerrin, as well as Alicia Keys and the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras. Avishai's playing has been described as "genius" and visionary and The Jerusalem Post has called him "undoubtedly the most successful" of Israel's jazz musicians.

Tags: Life in Israel

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