Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen is so talented that she was voted Clarinetist of the Year eight years in a row by The Jazz Journalists Association. The Israeli musician recently spoke about how she has incorporated Brazilian music into her Jewish jazz style.
Her latest album “Rosa Dos Ventos,” uses Brazil’s choro style. Choro is similar to klezmer music, and largely uses string and flute instruments. Recently, she spoke about the similarities, and why she chose to intertwine both styles together:
“People might hear Jewish elements in everything I play, whether it’s choro, European or New Orleans music, or anything else. I was taught to play like a cantor sings—with a strong sense of melody. I want to take a melodic line and express it as powerfully as I can. You hear that in all of the great Jewish jazz horn players, like Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and Stan Getz.”
When it comes to incorporating another culture into her own music, she says it’s about balance–and remembering who you are:
“I’m a hundred percent Israeli. But when I go to Brazil or any other part of the world, I want to feel like I’m part of the local culture, and it’s the same in the U.S. You keep your individuality but respect the surroundings.”
You can check her her work here. Here is “Choro Pesado,” a song from the album: