“Putting lightning in a bottle is what Oded Lev-Ari specializes in,” said DownBeat magazine in a feature article on Lev-Ari as a producer. Born in Tel Aviv but a longtime resident of New York City, he was recently commissioned by Carnegie Hall to compose a concert work showcasing the artistry of Anat Cohen, one of the most acclaimed clarinetists of her generation.
Oded released his debut album as a leader, Threading, in April 2015 via Anzic Records, the label he has co-owned and directed for the past decade. Showcasing his talents as a composer-arranger, Threading hints at diverse sonic worlds, from jazz sound painters Gil Evans and Maria Schneider to tango nuevo king Astor Piazzolla, contemporary classical composers Petris Vasks, Morton Feldman, and 15th-century composer Johannes Ockeghem.
Ultimately, though, Lev-Ari has his own, individual soundprint, one of cinematic richness and open-hearted lyricism. He serves as musical director for the Anat Cohen Tentet whose 2017 debut recording “Happy Song” has received unanimous critical acclaim. His numerous record producing credits include Anat Cohen’s Luminosa, multiple releases by vocal trio Duchess, and woodwind sage Marty Ehrlich’s A Trumpet in the Morning. He also served as musical director for a Billie Holiday tribute concert starring Madeleine Peyroux, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ron Carter, and others at Brazil’s Tudo e Jazz festival. At the piano and as a conductor, Lev-Ari has performed at such New York jazz clubs as The Jazz Standard, The Blue Note and The Village Vanguard, as well as at Boston’s Jordan Hall, San Francisco’s Miner Hall, Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium, and venues in Canada, Mexico, Russia, France, and the Netherlands.