Trumpeter/composer Avishai Cohen is a forward-thinking musician who has performed in various ensembles mixing avant-garde jazz, post-bop, klezmer, rock, and world music since the '90s.
Born in Israel, Cohen was interested in music from a young age and by his teens was a member of the Young Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and in 1997 achieved third place in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Trumpet Competition. Since graduating, Cohen has performed with a variety of artists, including vocalists Claudia Acuña and Keren Ann, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, and many others. He is also a member of such ensembles as Third World Love with bassist Omer Avital, the avant-garde Lemon Juice Quartet, and the SFJAZZ Collective. Cohen also performs with his equally talented siblings Anat Cohen (saxophone) and Yuval Cohen (soprano sax) as 3 Cohens.
Cohen made his debut as a leader in 2003 with The Trumpet Player, followed by the expansive, world music-infused After the Big Rain in 2007. More genre-bending, avant-garde-leaning albums followed in 2008 with Seven and Flood, the second part of the Big Rain trilogy. Also around this time he paired with pianist Jason Linder for 2009's Now vs. Now and augmented trombonist Rafi Malkiel's ensemble for 2010's Water.
Returning to his own groups, Cohen next debuted his Ornette Coleman- and Don Cherry-influenced Triveni trio with Introducing Triveni in 2010. A year later, he came on board as a member of the SFJazz Collective for the 2011 concert, Music of Stevie Wonder and New Compositions: Live in New York 2011 Season 8. He then returned to his solo work with 2012's Triveni II, after which he joined saxophonist Mark Turner's quartet for 2014's Lathe of Heaven. Also in 2014, the trumpeter reconvened his Triveni trio for the intimate session Dark Nights.
In 2016, Cohen made his ECM debut with Into the Silence, featuring saxophonist Bill McHenry, pianist Yonathan Avishai, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Nasheet Waits. Recorded in the wake of his father's death, the album showcased a more introspective and atmospheric sound from the trumpeter. The following year, he gathered the same ensemble (with bassist Barak Mori replacing Revis) for his second ECM effort, Cross My Palm with Silver. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi