The Other Avishai Cohen


In the vibrant and tight-knit world of jazz music, there is only one Miles Davis, one Ella Fitzgerald, and one Wynton Marsalis. But there are two Avishai Cohens, both of them successful, and both of them Israeli. Fortunately, they play different instruments: one Cohen’s on the trumpet, the other sticks to bass. It’s the trumpeter who’s now enjoying his turn in the international spotlight.

The trumpeting Cohen leads a post-bop trio called Triveni, with bassist Omer Avital and drummer Nasheet Watts. Their unusually piano-less numbers range from soft and bluesy to fiery and Dizzy Gillespie-ish.

In late 2012, the trio released its second CD, Triveni II. All About Jazz called it a “stunning” work by a band whose music is “off-the-wall without veering completely off the tracks.” The Jazz Chill Corner wrote that “the quick-time improvisation of the trio is brilliant.” And Downbeat named Cohen a rising star in its 2012 critics poll.

Born in Tel Aviv but living in New York, Cohen sometimes performs with his brother Yuval (sax) and sister Anat (clarinet) in a band called The 3 Cohens – the swinging-est siblings in the jazz world today (with apologies to Wynton and the boys).

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