b. 1975, Tel Aviv, Israel. Cohen was born into a musical family, her two brothers both playing instruments: alto and soprano saxophonist Yuval Cohen and trumpeter Avishai Cohen. She began playing clarinet as a child, studying at the Jaffa Music Centre where she also took up the saxophone. She also performed locally before entering military service where she played as a member of the Israeli Air Force Big Band. In 1996 Cohen studied at the Berklee College Of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Music. During this time, she also recorded with her brothers on one track on the 1997 release Summa Cum Jazz: The Best Of Berklee College Of Music.
In the late 90s, resident now in New York City, Cohen played in various bands in clubs and concert halls, also touring internationally. She became a member of the all-female big band, DIVA and the spin-off quintet, Five Play, in both of which she is a featured soloist. Although her principal instrument is the tenor saxophone, Cohen is also adept on soprano saxophone, clarinet and flute and brings to jazz a flavour of her interest in and understanding of various forms of ethnic music. Among many groups Cohen has played with are the Choro Ensemble, a New York-based group playing the traditional instrumental ‘choro’ music of Brazil, as well as bands led by Duduka Da Fonseca, Pablo Ablanedo, Alex Alvear and Juan Sebastian Monsalve. She has also been a guest with the New York Pops and the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, and worked with artists such as singer-percussionist Cyro Baptista, trumpeters Ruby Braff and Ingrid Jensen, drummers Jamey Haddad and Louis Hayes, as well as players as diverse as Arnie Lawrence, Flip Phillips, Bucky Pizzarelli and Rachel Z.
In 2004, Cohen formed her own quartet, playing clubs and recording. During this period she was also teamed in a duo with pianist Alon Yavnai and with arranger/conductor Oded Lev-Ari in the large ensemble, the Anzic Orchestra. With her brothers she plays in two groups, a trio, 3 Cohens, and, in tribute to Louis Armstrong, the Cohanim Sextuplet.
The Anat Cohen Quartet performs at 6pm on July 5th on the main stage.