Primary Instrument: Reeds
Ofer Shapiro is a Tel-Aviv based jazz musician/composer and woodwind performer. He leads both a jazz quartet and an 8-piece ensemble and has been shaping up in recent years into a unique and original voice in contemporary Israeli jazz. Ofer has recently joined forces with baritone saxophone giant Gary Smulyan for a CD recording project which was released in December 2010 under the Jazzis Records Label. Ofer's large 8-piece ensemble has recently preformed in the Tel-Aviv International Jazz Festival and has received many plaudits.
Ofer is also a sought after woodwind performer equally fluent on saxophones, clarinet and flute and has played in theater productions (Israeli YiddishSpiel Theater, Beit Zvi Theater and others) and with some of Israel's leading popular singers (Ilanit, Harel Skaat)
Ofer studied classical guitar as a child later moving to clarinet and saxophone. He started concentrating on jazz in his teens, studying with some of Israel's leading saxophonists. After completing three years of army service in the IDF orchestra Ofer continued playing for a while in the Israeli jazz scene and also completed a bachelor's degree in Musicology at Tel-Aviv University.
Shortly after completing his degree his love for jazz took over and Ofer decided to move to NY City to expand his career. Spending six and a half years in NYC Ofer studied and played in various groups and settings. While in NY he completed an MA in music degree at the Aaron Copland school of music at Queens College where he studied saxophone and improvisation with Antonio Hart and orchestration and arrangement with Michael Mossman and the late Sir Roland Hanna. He also performed in many of the cities' jazz clubs and venues and participated in several arranging workshops with Jim McNeely and Michael Abene. Some works of his were performed by the BMI New York Musician Union Jazz Orchestra and at the City University of New York 2002 Jazz Festival.
Ofer has been featured on radio and television in Israel and abroad. During his career, he has been fortunate enough to play with some great artists such as Herb Pomeroy, Lalo Schifrin, Rick Dellaratta, The Jazz for Peace Big Band, Odean Pope and many others. Ofer is on faculty at Hed college for contemporary music in Tel-Aviv.