Kobi Y. Arad
Arad with Steve Wonder
|Birth name||Kobi Yakob Arad|
|Also known as||Koby Y. Arad|
|Born||1981 (age 38–39)|
|Genres||Third stream, jazz, nu-jazz, jazz fusion, klezmer, classical, contemporary classical, hip hop, R&B, neo-soul, electronic and funk|
|Occupation(s)||pianist and composer|
Kobi Yakob Arad (Hebrew: קובי ארד; born: 2 October 1981) is an Israeli-American pianist, composer and bandleader. Arad has collaborated with notable artists, including Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Cindy Blackman and Jack DeJohnette. One of his albums, The Experience Project, was recorded in collaboration with Robert Margouleff. Recently,[when?] Arad also performed with the Kobi Arad Band.
Early life and education
Arad was born on October 2, 1981 in Haifa, Israel. He completed his Ph.D. at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and wrote his thesis on "third stream" and contemporary improvisation.
Arad has been active in the New York music scene since 2007. Since 2009, he has performed at local cultural events in New York, such as at the Chabad House in New York during Hanukkah. With the Kobi Arad Band, he has played in venues such as Blue Note (where his music was presented by Inner Hymns), Jazz at Lincoln Center, Knitting Factory, Tonic, and Cutting Room.
Arad's music has also been played on the Israel National Radio, as well as at the Tel Aviv Museum, the Knesset, and the Jerusalem Theatre. In January 2017, Arad performed with members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Arad's first albums, Ancient Novice and Sparks of Understanding (2009) have received many positive reviews. Inner Hymns was released in January 2012. As of 2016, Arad has released over 20 independent albums.
Arad collaborated on a project with Steve Wonder and his manager, Stephanie Andrews.[when?] He also worked with sound engineer Robert Margouleff, using analogue musical instruments for The Experience Project, released in June 2015. Bassist Jonathan Levy and drummer Ray McNaught joined Arad for this recording.
Arad's 2015 album Superflow features Roy Ayers (vibraphone) and Jonathan Levy (bassist).
In Webern Re-Visioned (2015), Arad created a jazz-classical mosaic in an anachronistic fusion with the music of Anton Webern of the Second Viennese School. String Quartets by Webern feature an intricate keyboard performance by Arad. Also in 2015, Arad joined another project, Hip Hop Meets Modern Classical. In this album, Arad sang and played R&B oriented rhythm sections and synthesizers in conjunction with complex harmonic and melodic textures.
In 2016, Claes Nobel of the Nobel Peace Prize commissioned the composition and recording of "We Are Standing With - the Forgotten People." The song, composed and produced by Arad and Craig Pruess, featured a mixed choir and soloists, consisting of 21 Grammy winners and nominees. This group joined the African national band Ganda Boys on 12 February 2016, to record the song for the cause of helping refugees around the world find a home. In the session, this group sang as a choir under the musical direction of Brent Fischer and Arad. The song "We're All Standing with the Forgotten People" won a Global Music Award, Silver Medal, for Outstanding Achievement.
In 2017, Arad launched a solo Rhodes album, Flux, an experimental blend of avant-garde music compositions with electronic drum-beats. It was followed by a daring take by the Kobi Arad Band on Duke Ellington's compositions, in the CD release Ellington Upside Down (feat. Ray MacNaught and Bobby Maccalaugh). One of the tracks of the album, "Take the 'A' Train / It Aint Mean A Thing" was nominated by the Independent Music Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Song. Ellington Upside Down has received favourable critical acclaim from Kabir Sehgal and others.
In 2018, Arad launched two CDs. Enchantment Songs, which was performed, composed, and produced by Arad, was a collection of atmospheric ethnically imbued songs. The second one, Horizons, presents electronic pad layering which utilized experimental use of harmonic clusters and dissonant intonations.
Also in 2018, Arad embarked on an exploratory project, "A.I. meets Nu-Jazz-Improvisation". The project, sponsored by WeWork, appeared in Bryant Park as well as in Times Square, and blended human and computer-generated music. In the project, music composition software was combined with atonal and creative improvisation by Arad. The project included Ian Nacht, an algorithmic and generative musician, who utilizes Euclidean rhythms, generative harmonization, and Conway's Game of Life in his creative process. The program also featured Olivia Goldman-Szwajkajzer, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, to discuss mechanisms of Artificial Intelligence as compared to Natural Intelligence.
"Freedom", a collaboration track with composer Brent Fischer, consisted of string work by Brent Fischer, while the rhythm section, composition and vocal composition, were by Arad. A tribute to Brent's father Clare Fischer, it won a bronze medal from the Global Music Awards.
Segments, by the Kobi Arad Band, featuring Ray MacNaught (drums) and Henoc Montes (bass) was released in June 2018. It utilizes the compositional system Anchor Lines, coined and constructed by Arad. As the title suggests, the idea behind this system involves taking melodic segments (which are often compositional aphorisms or microcosms) and through improvisation, unfold them into full-blown compositional entities. Segments won the Independent Music Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. It also won the Global Music Awards Silver medal for Outstanding Achievement.
In 2019, during the biannual Jewish Art Festival in Jerusalem, Arad collaborated with saxophonist Daniel Zamir and visual artist Rachel Sanchez in a project created by Arad, Seeing the Voices. The project was a successor of several successful shows which were performed at the Jewish Community Center, New York and Governors Island, New York in collaboration with the Art Kibbutz.
In 2019, Arad released the CD Intonation, which featured a duet consisting of Arad and Oran Etkin, a Grammy Award-winning clarinettist.
Levitical Jazz (2019) is a tribute by the Kobi Arad Band to the holy music of the Levites.
In 2020, Arad launched the album Worlds. This album features electronic music inspired by complex orchestral textures by Olivier Messiaen.
- "About Kobi Arad". article.wn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Israel's Kobi Arad Band – Live Jazz at the Blue Note NYC on Jan. 29". The Jewish Voice. January 23, 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Averbuch, Shira (January 2, 2012). "Inner Hymns". Ynet" (in עברית).
- "Kobi Arand Band website".
- "Dr. Kobi Arad - Chabad of North Brooklyn". www.chabadofnorthbrooklyn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Kobi Arad Performs with Members of Israeli Orchestra in Tel Aviv". article.wn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Kobi Arad - Sparks Of Understanding Album Lyrics". LetsSingIt. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Jazz Reviews: Kobi Arad's 'Ancient Novice' - By Jennis Allujan — JazzTimes". 27 September 2016. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Insight Into Kobi Arad's Masterful Musicianship". article.wn.com. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- Superflow. Rutgers University.
- An Interview with Music Composer Kobi Arad. CreativeInn.
- Insight Into Kobi Arad’s new CD: ‘Cubism – Hyper Dimensional Jazz’. Tuned Loud.
- Kobi Arad Band takes Jazz into a new frontier with Cubism – Hyper Dimensional Jazz. Nouveau Flux Music.
- August 2019 winners. Global Music Awards.
- "The 17th Independent Music Awards Nominees & Winners".
- Kobi Arad: “Ellington Upside Down” As A Musical Portrait Of The Jazz Titan. Welab Magazine. July 14, 2017.
- Olivia Goldman.
- September 2018 winners. Global Music Awards.
- "THE 17TH INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS NOMINEES ANNOUNCED". Independent Music Awards. 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
- "Global Music Awards - Music Competition". www.globalmusicawards.com. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
- Kobi Arad. Art Kibbutz.
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