(NEW YORK, N.Y.) – Known for artistically adventurous writing and performances, the Anat Cohen Quartet makes its first appearance on the stage of Miller Theatre at Columbia University in upper Manhattan on Saturday, February 11, 2012, at 8 p.m., with exciting new works by the Israeli woodwind virtuoso. Fluent in modern and traditional jazz, klezmer, Brazilian Choro, Argentine tango, and an expansive timeline of Afro-Cuban styles, Anat Cohen has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on both the tenor saxophone and clarinet since arriving in New York in 1999.
“Anat Cohen has been on my wish list for a while now, and I cannot wait to share her incredible gifts as a musician, bandleader, and improviser with our audience at Miller,” says Miller Theatre director Melissa Smey. “The sheer range of her influences and interpretations makes her one of the most exciting jazz musicians today.”
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen began clarinet studies at age 12 and played jazz on clarinet for the first time in the Jaffa Conservatory’s Dixieland band. At 16, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play the tenor saxophone, which she later played in the Israeli Air Force band. In 1996, Anat matriculated at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Upon relocating to New York, Cohen quickly found work in various Brazilian ensembles like the Choro Ensemble and Duduka Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet, and started performing with David Ostwald’s “Gully Low Jazz Band,” which explores the music of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and their Pan-American contemporaries.
Cohen has performed for audiences in New York’s Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Iridium, The Jazz Gallery, and the JVC Jazz Festival. She has also appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s Yoshi’s, Boston’s Regattabar, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Cohen’s July 2007 engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York was a historic one as she became the first female reed player and the first Israeli to headline at the club. In 2010, Anat Cohen released the album Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard, inspired by the music of Benny Goodman and celebrating his centennial, featuring an all-star rhythm section including Benny Green, Peter Washington, and Lewis Nash.
Her 2008 album Notes From The Village, her fourth album as a leader, features compositions written by Cohen as well as her interpretations of songs by Fats Waller, John Coltrane, Sam Cooke and Ernesto Lecuona. “In preparing for the recording,” says Cohen, “I really wanted to capture the free, risk-taking, open quality this band achieves when performing live. I also wanted to stretch my compositions, and arrangements.”
Cohen’s accomplishments have been recognized in a flurry of awards and distinctions from critics and fans alike; the Jazz Journalists Association named Anat Cohen Clarinetist of the Year in 2007 through 2011 – the first time in the history of the awards that an artist has earned top clarinet honors five years running. Her 2007 albums Noir and Poetica both appeared on many year-end best-of summary lists, including those of Paste magazine, the New York Sun, Slate, JazzTimes, and others.
Cohen’s quartet includes Jason Lindner on piano; Omer Avital on bass; and Daniel Freedman on drums.
Tickets: $25 • CU Students: $7 • All other students: $15 with valid ID