Berklee Today: Anat Cohen '98
Anat Cohen took an unpredictable path from her native Tel Aviv, Israel, to New York where she has become the most visible musician of her generation to champion the clarinet in jazz. Top critics writing for the New York Times, theWashington Post, JazzTimes, and other publications have warmly embraced her recordings and live work. In 2007 and 2008, Cohen held the top position in readers' and critics' polls in Down Beat magazine and made history when the Jazz Journalists Association dubbed her clarinetist of the year for two consecutive years. . . .
With its vibrant jazz and world music scenes, New York has been a promised land of sorts and the perfect locus for Cohen professionally and personally. After our interview at her Greenwich Village home in late November, we walked a block to catch a cab at the street corner. Along the way, she hailed neighbors, shopkeepers, even the Fed-Ex deliveryman with her inextinguishable smile. She credits the late Arnie Lawrence, a jazz educator and the former Tonight Show Band saxophonist, with helping her to become "an individual with a story to tell in the notes and silences." Anat Cohen definitely has something to say, and an increasing number of people are listening.