All In The Family: From Hot Jazz To Choro
An established bandleader and prolific composer, Anat Cohen has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on both the tenor saxophone and clarinet and has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. .
Born in Tel Aviv, 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, Cohen matriculated at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Upon relocating to New York, she 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 at 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, the Kennedy Center, San Francisco’s Yoshi’s, Boston’s Regattabar, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Her July 2007 engagement at the Village Vanguard in New York was an historic one as she became the first female reed player and the first Israeli to headline at the club.
In March 2015, Anzic Records released Luminosa, her seventh album as a bandleader. 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 eight years in a row. She has topped both the Critics Readers Polls in the clarinet category in DownBeat magazine every year since 2011.