So I began playing classical violin at age six after seeing a child prodigy violinist performing in some talent show on TV. Now don’t ask me why I kept at it after my first year of playing—I really couldn’t tell you.
Over time I started to feel discontent and overwhelmed by the classical school and discipline, so I decided to pursue my angsty rockstar fantasies.
At age 13 I threw away all my tactical skills on the violin and switched to guitar—through which I was exposed to new and exciting
genres like Blues, Jazz, Rock N’ Roll and my eternal idol, Jimi Hendrix.
Through him I learned how to play by ear, how to improvise and how to give away my soul on stage.
At age 15 I started recognizing the potential of trying to improvise on the violin and how special it could be.
Who doesn’t like to feel special? It was then that I decided to take the skills and concepts I learned through guitar about improvisation and non-classical styles of music and develop them on the Violin.
Through this process, I came to know what the term ‘transcribing’ was through my first ever transcribed jazz solo, where I learned Stéphane Grappelli’s solo on “My Melancholy Baby” from a 1939 recording with Django Reinhardt.
Practicing violin without guidance from a teacher allowed me the freedom to explore more eclectic violin playing styles in Jazz, East Indian music, Country music, Celtic music, Balkan music and African music. After seizing lessons in both violin and guitar, I had the privilege of returning to take regular lessons at The Israeli Conservatory of Music, under the direction of my first formal jazz teacher-guitarist, Amos Hoffman, and my first true violin mentor-- violinist Delia Jacob, who rekindled me with the love for Classical music.
Continuing to practice both Jazz and Classical music, I was recruited in the Israeli military as an "Outstanding Musician," a status given by the Israeli Ministry of Education to few young artists who show the potential for a successful artistic career in the future. This status allowed me to keep studying and pursuing my musical career during the military service; throughout that period I studied both at The Israeli Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, and at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
In 2014 I was granted the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship for Jazz performance, which brought me from my academic studies at The Center for Jazz Studies in Tel Aviv, to The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, as a part of the academic collaboration program between the schools. I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The New School in May 2018. Make mom and dad proud—check.
After graduation I decided to stay in the place people like to call ‘The Big Apple’ in order to continue being a part of the neverending musical adventure occurring in this city.In recent years I have been lucky enough to record and perform locally and internationally with many great artists and bands, among them OSOG, Aaron Goldberg, Yotam Silberstein, Martin Taylor, Avalon Jazz Band, Yacouba Sissoko, Stephane Wrembel, Robin Nolan, Dario Napoli, Yaakov Hoter & Swing De Gitanes, Gidi Gov, RedBand, Gal De Paz, Ella Daniel, Nechi Nech, Lukach, Oh Sweet Sumthin',The Betty Bears and many more.
Currently I am collaborating with a multi-cultural band including members from Burkina Faso, Venezuela and Israel, in a musical project influenced mainly by Zimbabwean music and facilitating contemporary guitar styles from West and South Africa into my own original compositions.You can learn more about it in the Ima Express page.
Thank you for reading all of the above!