Join us for a pre-concert drink at the Parterre Bar in Zankel Hall before concerts that start at 9 PM or later.
This concert and the Joyce and George T. Wein Shape of Jazz series are made possible by the Joyce and George Wein Foundation in memory of Joyce Wein.
Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.
Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
Ever charismatic, prolific, and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. She has been named Clarinetist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association annually since 2007, and has also been named the top clarinetist in both the readers and critics polls in DownBeat for multiple years running. That’s not to mention years of being named Rising Star in the soprano and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat, as well as Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2009, ASCAP awarded her a Wall of Fame prize for composition and musicianship, among other honors.
Since 2005, Cohen’s series of releases via her Anzic Records label have seen the clarinetist-saxophonist range from infectious swingers to lilting balladry, from small groups to larger ensembles and back again, exploring a universe of music along the way. Her most recent release, Live in Healdsburg, came in March 2018 as a debut duo recording with acclaimed pianist Fred Hersch.
Cohen’s newest album as a band leader—Happy Song, released by Anzic in October 2017—found her drawing on diverse musical loves, from Brazilian music to African grooves, from vintage swing to touching ballads. The new vehicle for these explorations is the Anat Cohen Tentet, a large-format ensemble of ace New York musicians that made its debut at the Jazz Standard in Manhattan and the famed Newport Jazz Festival. Above all, Happy Song is another synergistic collaboration between Cohen and co-producer/co-arranger Oded Lev-Ari, who is also her partner in Anzic as well as a kindred spirit since their high-school days in Israel. In many ways, Happy Song carries on from an initial highpoint of her discography—2007’s sumptuous Noir—that saw Cohen weave her various horns through the all-star Anzic Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Lev-Ari.
Earlier in 2017, Cohen continued her love affair with Brazilian sounds by simultaneously releasing two albums: Outra Coisa: The Music of Moacir Santos (with seven-string guitarist Marcello Gonçalves) and Rosa Dos Ventos (with Trio Brasileiro). Both recordings were made in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, and went on to receive Grammy nominations in the Best World Music Album and Best Latin Jazz Album categories, respectively. Cohen also has recorded four acclaimed albums as part of the 3 Cohens ensemble with her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai: 2003’s One, 2007’s Braid, 2011’s Family, and 2013’s Tightrope.
Cohen has collaborated regularly with one of her heroes, Cuban-American clarinetist-saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera, who introduced her onstage at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola as “one of the greatest players ever of the clarinet.” Having first appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2007, she had the honor of being music director for the Newport Jazz Festival Now 60 all-star band that toured the US on the occasion of the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2014. In 2017, Cohen played all the major European festivals as part of the all-star, all-female band called Artemis, which boast members Renee Rosnes and Cécile McLorin Salvant, among others. She also has toured in a duo with Fred Hersch, as well as with iconic Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.
However easy Cohen makes it seem onstage, the mastery of any great art is a long, elusive challenge, and she teaches the fine points of jazz and the music of Brazil to budding students across North America. About her experiences onstage, in the classroom, or just engaging with her listeners, Cohen says, “Any day when I get to share music with people—other musicians, an audience—feels like a celebration to me.”