Anat Cohen has taken the jazz world by storm since her arrival from Israel to the United States in 1999. She's an extraordinary musician who has the technique, yes, but always plays with plenty of heart. Always joyous. She's been winning awards in magazines and from the Jazz Journalists Association and they keep piling up.
Anat travels to the Netherlands in July for the North Sea Jazz festival, a fantastic three-day event at a venue called AHOY on Europe's largest seaport, July 12-14. She is the winner of this year's Paul Acket Award given by the festival and to artists deserving wider recognition for their extraordinary musicianship. Past winners include pianists Craig Taborn and Stefano Bolani, trumpeter Christian Scott, and guitarist Adam Rogers.
Cohen will play with her quartet and also sit down for an interview with jazz journalist Dan Oulette before a live audience.
[Anat Cohen at the Newport Jazz Festival, 2012., © R.J. DeLuke]
She plays all the saxophone, except baritone, but is known for her ferocious clarinet playing, having won the Jazz Journalists Association's Clarinetist of the Year award seven times in a row. Personally, I love the way she wails on the tenor sax. She was fabulous last year at the Newport Jazz Festival, playing with her two brothers, trumpeter Avishai and saxophonist Yuval in the band aptly named the Three Cohens.
The North Sea Fest is a fabulous event featuring great bands in all kinds of genres: jazz, blues, rock, pop, soul. It goes on at 13 stages simultaneously from about 5 in the afternoon until 1 in the morning, or a bit later. It will be a pleasure to see Anat overseas, part of a wonderful lineup that includes Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Santana, Diana Krall, Steve Swallow, Robert Glasper, Ron Carter, Eliane Elias and many, many more.
It's not an easy venture from the U.S., but hardly impossible (many from the U.S. attend each year) for people who want to immerse themselves in a weekend of great music. The food and atmosphere are equally fine. The city of Rotterdam is a very hip place; friendly and fun.
Think about it ... even if it's next year.
And congrats once again to Anat Cohen!