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Anat Cohen

During the past decade, Anat Cohen has emerged as a major clarinetist and tenor saxophonist. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, she is the older sister of trumpeter Avishai, and the younger sister of saxophonist Yuval. Anat Cohen began on clarinet when she was 12, playing in her Jaffa conservatory’s Dixieland band. When she was 16, she joined the school’s big band and learned to play tenor. That year Cohen began majoring in jazz at the Thelma Yelin High School of the Arts. After graduating, she served in the military during 1993-95, playing tenor in the Israeli Air Force Band. In 1996 she moved to Boston to study at Berklee. Among her teachers were Phil Wilson, Hal Crook, George Garzone and Bill Pierce.

While at Berklee Cohen discovered world music and performed locally with jazz, klezmer, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian popular music groups. The wide experience served her well for when she arrived in New York in 1999; she started out working with the Brazilian pop band Brazooca, the Choro Ensemble and New York Samba Jazz. She has played lead tenor with Sherrie Marciel’s Diva Jazz Orchestra, has performed 1920s jazz with David Ostwald’s Gully Low Jazz Band since 2004 and teamed up with her brothers in the Three Cohens. Already considered one of the top clarinetists in jazz, Cohen can also be heard on tenor, soprano and alto. She leads her own quartet, which also includes guitarist Gilad Hekselman, bassist Eduardo Perez and drummer Fereric Nemeth. Anat Cohen’s debut album as leader is 2005’s Place and Time. In 2007 she released Noir and Poetica, two diverse CDs that show off some of the musical talents of Anat Cohen.