Anat Cohen at Earshot Jazz

The Anat Cohen Ensemble put on a wonderful performance at Cornish College’s Poncho Concert Hall as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival in October. Conversant with modern and traditional jazz, classical music, Brazilian choro and Argentine tango, Israeli clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen has established herself as a fresh voice in jazz. British bassist Orlando le Fleming and Texas drummer Rudy Royston joined Cohen at the PONCHO Concert Hall.

Cohen won both DownBeat magazine’s critics poll and Reader’s Poll in the clarinet category in 2011, and the Jazz Journalists Association named Cohen Clarinetist of the Year for five consecutive years, 2007-2011.

Her facility in that regard is on pristine display on Claroscuro (2012), her newest release, and sixth on Anzic Records. Pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman join her on the record, with special guests.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cohen grew up with musical siblings – brothers saxophonist Yuval Cohen and trumpeter Avishai Cohen. She began clarinet studies at age 12 and played that and tenor saxophone for years before moving on to studies at Berklee College, where she met teachers Ed Tomassi and George Garzone and was further encouraged on clarinet by Phil Wilson. Cohen moved again, to New York, and quickly found work in Brazilian ensembles, like Duduka Da Fonseca’s Samba Jazz Quintet, and started performing the music of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet and their pan-American contemporaries with David Ostwald’s Gully Low Jazz Band.
Cohen is familiar with the Northwest from her performances at the Django festivals on Whidbey Island, Earshot festivals in Seattle and her friendship with Seattle pianist Dawn Clement. “Come and groove with us,” Cohen writes. “It’s going to be fun.”
– SG

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