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Avishai Cohen: Living with the Trumpet

Video interview with noted trumpeter who talks about his own jazz education and the unique demands of playing the trumpet

During the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio backstage inside the old barracks of Fort Adams. During two afternoons, a succession of artists-including Hiromi, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Anat Cohen, Steve Coleman, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Miguel Zenon and many others-came in to talk about the festival, jazz education and their own projects. We will be posting these interviews at over the next few months. You can also see more of these video inteviews at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

Originally from Tel Aviv, trumpeter Avishai Cohen was appearing at Newport in a group with his sister Anat, who plays clarinet and saxophone. Along with brother Yuval, they comprise a group aptly named The 3 Cohens, who have recently released an acclaimed album on Anzic Records. He also plays with a trio called Triveni, with Omer Avital and Nasheet Waits. And he has recorded and toured with the SFJAZZ Collective. Cohen has been performing music since the age of 10. He attended the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship and in 1997 he placed third in the Thelonious Monk Competition (Darren Barrett and Diego Urcola finished first and second, respectively, that year).

In this interview from the Newport Jazz Festival, a slightly jet-lagged Cohen talked about the legacy of the festival, his own jazz and music education and the unique challenges of playing the trumpet. An unabashed fan of Miles Davis, Cohen discussed his favorite Davis group and why Davis is underrated as a trumpet player.

Avishai Cohen on playing at Newport:

Avishai Cohen on his own music education:

Avishai Cohen on Miles Davis:

These videos were recorded by Melissa Mergner.

Originally Published