Oran Etkin, the Israeli-born, New York-based clarinetist whose 2009 Motema Music
release, Kelenia, was hailed by the New York Times as "ebullient," and
by the All Music Guide as setting "a new standard for world music in the decade of
the 2000's," has much to celebrate in the new year.
Last week, his critically acclaimed debut recording, Kelenia, was
awarded the Independent Music Award for "Best World Beat" CD. The IMA winners, culled
from thousands of submissions from around the globe, were determined by a panel of 80
influential artists and industry pros including Tom Waits, Aimee Mann, Suzanne Vega,
Bettye LaVette, and Judy Collins. Music fans have until June 25 to champion their
favorite Nominees at The IMA Vox Pop Jukebox to determine The 9th Independent Music
Awards 'People's Voice' Winners.
Etkin's next release, Wake Up, Clarinet!, is a jazz recording for children
and will be released this spring. One track, "Little Lamb Jam," will be featured on
Putumayo Kids' March 9 release, Jazz Playground, a multicultural CD
which celebrates the vibrant diversity and global influence of jazz.
Jazz Playground demonstrates how artists in North and South America,
Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania have adopted jazz and made it their own. Featuring a
new, colorful storybook-style booklet and glossary of musical terms, Jazz
Playground pairs sophisticated sounds with kid-friendly lyrics. Etkin
enlisted fellow Broolynite Charanee Wade to contribute vocals on "Little Lamb Jam."
To promote the release of Jazz Playground, Etkin will perform at two
of the venues on a select concert tour, on February 28 at the Please Touch Museum in
Philadelphia, and on March 13, at the Scholastic Auditorium in downtown Manhattan.
For more information about Jazz Playground, visit Putmayo Kids' website at
Working with children is hardly unusual for the thirty year old Etkin. For several
years, he has been giving back what he was given musically with a groundbreaking new
educational method, offering classes to children ranging in age from 18 months to six
years throughout New York. His educational approach has led Etkin to record his own
CD, Wake Up Clarinet!, which will be released later in 2010. More
information on his unique teaching style can be found on the Kids page of Oran's
Oran Ektin has been described as a "great clarinet player" and "an excellent
improviser" by the New York Times' jazz critic Ben Ratliff and a "woodwind maestro"
by PRI's internationally syndicated show, Afropop Worldwide. He has performed around
the world with musicians ranging from jazz guitarist Mike Stern to rapper Wyclef
Jean. His latest album, Kelenia (Motema Music), fuses traditional
Malian and Jewish music with modern jazz creating what the Boston Globe dubbed a
"hypnotic balance between straight-ahead jazz and world music".
The CD features Oran's working group with Malian griot musicians Balla Kouyate,
Makane Kouyate and bassist Joe Sanders as well as guests including vocalist Abdoulaye
Diabate, Grammy Award winning artists Lionel Loueke and John Benitez, and even a
string quartet on one track. The resulting sound is a reflection of Oran's musical
personality rooted in jazz but shaped by the many musical worlds that Oran is a part
of in New York, including African, Jewish, Haitian and New Orleans music. Even before
its release, Kelenia debuted at # 10 on the nationwide radio charts and
All Music Guide has declared that Oran "sets a new standard for world music in the
decade of the 2000s".
Oran built his foundations studying with George Garzone starting at age 14 and
later with Yusef Lateef. He studied classical clarinet and composition as a
undergraduate and received a Masters in Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of
Music, where he studied with Dave Liebman and Dave Krakauer among others.
Oran continues the tradition of music education as a faculty member of the
Brooklyn Conservatory and through the unique new method that he developed for
teaching music to 2-6 year olds that has been implemented with over 500 young
students in New York. Oran is in the process of adapting this method into a set of
children's books and writing a book for adults on how children learn music.
Oran's upcoming concerts:
February 28- Philadelphia, PA Please Touch Museum
Junior Jazz Concert Series
1 pm & 3 pm
4231 Avenue of the Republi
Free w/ museum admission
March 12 - Brooklyn, NY
376 9th,br> 8 PM
(Performing music from Kelenia)
March 13- New York, NY
11am & 1pm
Free- Reservations required