Jazz, as everyone from Ken Burns on down will tell you, is a uniquely American music. And yet some of its greatest practitioners have hailed from other countries. Clarinest and tenor saxophonist Anat Cohen may be a longtime New York resident, but she grew up in her native Israel and it's there that the award-winning instrumentalist and composer first turned a melting-pot philosophy into a gorgeous, polyglot jazz that encompasses everything from ethnic diversity to cerebral improv.
"I have a few ways my heritage and culture come to the table in my music," Cohen says. "Israel is a country of immigrants with lots of different music I got to hear growing up. Influences from South America, Morocco, Eastern European klezmer its all part of what I heard, and it comes out. Also, playing the clarinet, it is inevitable that my interpretation of melodies, the way I express myself, the bending of certain notes or some sort of cry that may come out, is related to the sound of a cantor I heard all through my life."
Leading a quartet featuring pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman, Cohen will perform tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Shwayder Theatre (350 South Dahlia Street) as part of this year's Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music Festival. Admission to the concert is $15, $12 for seniors and Jewish Community Center members. For tickets, info and the JAAMM Fest's full lineup, call 303-316-6360 or visit www.maccjcc.org.
Sat., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2009