Omer Avital

Since October 1995, The Omer Avital Group has quickly become one of New York's most acclaimed jazz bands. The New York Times said of the group: “Expressive, powerful and well-informed, the sextet doesn't have a weak link”.

Avital was born in the small Israeli town of Givataim to parents of Moroccan and Yemenite descent. His formal training began at age 11, when he entered the Givataim Conservatory to study classical guitar. It was upon entering Talma Yalin, Israel's leading High School for the Arts, that Avital's interest switched towards jazz. He switched his focus to the acoustic bass, and soon became the leader of the school's jazz ensemble for which he wrote all the arrangements. During his senior year, at the age of 17, he began playing professionally in various jazz, pop and folk bands, and performed regularly on national television, radio and in numerous jazz festivals.

After spending a year in the Israeli army playing in its orchestra, Omer made his way to New York in search of a more promising jazz setting. His talent was instantly recognised and he became hotly sought after as a sideman. He began performing, recording and touring internationally with such jazz legends as Antonio Hart, Bill Saxton, Nat Adderley, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Grossman, Jimmy Lovelace, Walter Bishop and Frank Hewitt, as well as the younger Peter Bernstein, Brad Mehldau and Larry Goldings amongst others.

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