Biography of Ohad Talmor on the release of Konitz-Talmor String Project: Inventions (OmniTone 15215)

Ohad Talmor in action playing

Performer

Ohad Talmor started his musical career as a pianist and switched to saxophone at the age of 18 while on an exchange student year in south Florida.

Prior to his moving to New York, Ohad Talmor lived in Geneva, Switzerland, playing in numerous musical projects throughout Europe.  His own projects included his 4tet or 5tet, (with trombonist Glenn Ferris), the group "Zounds" (with trombonist Ed Neumeister) and his "Suite for Lee Konitz" (written for Lee Konitz and String 4tet, 5 horns and rhythm section).  In 1995, this project was taken on a European tour sponsored by the EJN (European Jazz Network).  Co-founder in 1994 of the "Zounds Collective" with Swiss trumpet player Carlos Baumann.  The collective played every week in a Geneva club, using their platform as a laboratory for experiment from theatrical free music to straight ahead standards. The Zounds Collective represented Switzerland for the CRPLF (French Speaking Radio Music Award) contest, 1995: received first place Award.

Another direct result of the Zounds Collective experiments was the group "MuseS" with electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Mike Sarin which toured Europe twice in 1995 and 1997.  He played with several big-bands including the "Lausanne Big Band" and the Jerôme Thomas Big Band featuring trombonist Ray Anderson.

He performed regularly with many of the leading European jazz musicians including pianist Joachim Kuhn and Vienna Art Orchestra musicians such as trumpet player Matthieu Michel.

Ohad Talmor moved to New York in 1995 to attend the Manhattan School of Music from which he graduated in 1997 with a BA in Composition.

Since moving to NYC, he is leading many projects which feature his combined interests in contemporary writing and modern Jazz playing.

Most recently, Talmor has collaborated with living jazz legend Lee Konitz to create "larger ensemble" contexts for Konitz that spotlight his underrecognized skills as a composer and his playing prowess — even after 50 years on the jazz scene (!).  These projects include the Lee Konitz-Ohad Talmor String Project (featuring the Spring String Quartet), the Lee Konitz New Nonet (directed by Ohad Talmor), and the Lee Konitz-Ohad Talmor Big Band (featuring the Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos).  World debut recordings of all three ensembles are available on OmniTone titled, respectively, Inventions, New Nonet, and Portology.

Two other OmniTone CD spotlight Talmor's work as a player, improviser and composer with the collaborative MOB Trio: Loose and Quite Live in Brooklyn.

Other projects Talmor is involved with include:

  • "The Other Quartet" (Russ Johnson-trumpet, Jim Hershman-Guitar & Mark Ferber-drums)
  • "Ohad Talmor "7 Deja Vus" feat. Lee Konitz" (a 7tet with Russ Johnson-trumpet, Jacob Garchik- trombone, Jim
  • Hershman-guitar, John Silverman-bass & Mike Sarin-drums)
  • "M.O.B. Trio" (Bob Bowen-bass & Matt Wilson-drums)
  • "Scent of the Morning Dew" (Rob Thomas-violin, Jacob Sacks-Piano & Dan Weiss-Tablas)
  • Co-founder with trombonist Christophe Schweizer of the "Jazz Wave Collective."  Their first project included a European tour in 1998 featuring the Ohad Talmor 7tet with Lee Konitz and the Christophe Schweizer 7tet with Billy Hart.  Their second project, a European tour with the Schweizer 7tet and the MOB Trio is scheduled for November 2000.

As a sideman with:

  • Christophe Schweizer's "Full Circle Rainbow" featuring drummer Billy Hart and organists George Colligan or Jason Moran
  • Roy Nathanson Dark Star Lounge Big Band

Has also performed with Chris Potter, Dave Douglas, Chris Speed, Jim Black, Joel Frahm, Michael and Randy Brecker, Bob Dorough, Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Dave Kikosky, Blondie's singer Debbie Harry, etc.

Composer - Arranger

Jazz and Improvised music

  • For Big Bands: Brecker Brothers (with MSM Big Band), Lausanne Big Band-Switzerland.
  • "Suite for Lee Konitz" written for Lee Konitz, String4tet, 5 Horns, bass and drums). Commissioned by the Geneva Jazz Festival in 1994.
  • Composed and arranged the music for Lee Konitz and the Axis String 4tet recording on Palmetto Records: "French Music form the Turn of the XXth Century".

Classical and Contemporary Music

  • Music for leading classical musicians including legendary pianist Martha Argerich (Piano Sonata), Cellist Faissal Hussein (3 Solo Cello Pieces), trombonist Dave Taylor (Statement for 2 bass bones & percussion) as well as different ensembles including the Lucerne String 4tet and the "Wet Ink Collective" - New York.
  • Was commissioned an extensive piece based on the Dante's Divine Comedy by the "Arte Multi Visione" - Europe's largest multi media Festival /Rieti, Italy.  The music includes work for a septet featuring jazz musicians such as Ron Horton and Brad Shepik.
  • Scoring of several films including award winning movie "Pazam" broadcasted on the European "ARTE" TV Channel.
  • Music for the "Seeing Ear Theatre" program, part of USA network's SciFi Channel. The music was written for radio dramas including "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "Niagara Falls" feat. actress Clair Bloom and "The Jaguar Hunter" featuring actors Lou Diamond Philipps and Chita Rivera.  The next project schedueled is a live production of "The Metamorphosis" featuing actor Steve Buscemi and a 5tet with Ohad Talmor, Dave Douglas and Joey Baron.  It will take place at the Knitting Factory in December 2000.

Awards

  • 1994 European Jazz Network - Composition Award (for the Project "Suite for Lee Konitz," composed for String 5tet, winds, percussions and Lee Konitz )
  • 1994 Dubaï/Montreux Jazz Festival Award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.
  • 1995 French Speaking Radios Music Contest (CRPLF) Award.

Education

  • 1985-1989 Diploma (Music Section), High School, Collège Claparède, Geneva
  • 1987-1988 Diploma, South Plantation High School, Florida. (exchange student year)
  • 1989-1992 University of Geneva, First Degree in Liberal Arts studies: Philosophy, Musicology and History

Musical Education

  • 1976-1990 - Geneva Conservatory, Piano and Theory Diploma
  • 1988 - Private Studies in saxophone with Bruce Miller, Florida. "Audit" at the University of Miami School of Music in theory with Gary Campbell.
  • 1989-1990 - Geneva Association for Improvised Music (AMR).  Studies in improvisation and saxophone.
  • 1990-1995 - Private studies with classical composer Alexandre Rabinovitch.
  • 1995-1997 - BA in Composition, Manhattan School of Music (studies with Ludmila Ulhela, Nils Vigeland, Manny Albam)
  • Saxophone studies with Joe Lovano, Dewey Redman and Dick Oatts

Teaching

  • 1992-1995 - Geneva Association for Improvised Music (AMR): Saxophone and Theory
  • 1992-1995 - Lausanne Conservatory - Contemporary and Jazz division (EJMA): Saxophone and Theory
  • 1995 - City of Lausanne and Association "# 11" summer course: Theory and Improvisation
  • 1995-1996 - Guest lecturer at the University of Fribourg and University of Geneva, Department of Liberal Arts
  • 1998 - Guest lecturer at the Geneva Conservatory, Theory and Composition Department
  • 1998-2000 - Woodbridge Academy of Music, NJ
  • 1999 - Jazz improvisation and ensemble, Queens College Preparatory Division

[Visit Ohad Talmor's website at www.ohad-talmor.com.]

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