Anat Cohen: Israel's Queen of Clarinet

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Wednesday August 31, 2011

From Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Anat Cohen – Israeli queen of clarinet
By: Avigayil Kadesh

Tel Aviv native Anat Cohen is hard-put to explain why she has just received, for the fifth consecutive year, the Jazz Journalists Association’s Clarinetist of the Year award.

“There are not a lot of jazz clarinetists out there,” she says modestly, after some thought. “Clarinet is often associated with certain genres, like swing or folk music. I combine the old and new, using the clarinet as an expressive tool and not in one genre. I’m just happy that people are drawn to what I do.”

In 2007, Cohen became the first Israeli (and first female reed player) to headline at the famed New York City jazz club Village Vanguard. She returned in 2009 to record her fifth album, “Clarinetwork,” a tribute to the legendary Benny Goodman. “It’s inevitable to go through a Benny Goodman phase if you’re in jazz and clarinet,” she says. “It’s amazing what a strong impact he made.”

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