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Yuval Amihai

Jazz guitarist, composer and bandleader Yuval Amihai was born in Beer Sheva, Israel in 1981. Beginning with piano studies at the age of 8, Amihai switched to the electric guitar at 13, and by the time he was 16 he was leading his own bands and performing regularly around the country. During his mandatory military service, Amihai found great inspiration in classical guitar music and composed a chamber music piece for guitar, piano and a string quartet. His music was selected to be featured in a series of concerts by the city of Beer Shava’s Municipal Symphonic Orchestra. Amihai was then commissioned to compose an original work for the city’s string quartet, featuring renowned oud and violin player Yair Dalal. Seeking to go further in this direction and broaden his education, Amihai spent the following years focusing mainly on classical music, while maintaining an active performing schedule as a jazz guitarist. He attended the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Rimon School of Music, where he was also a finalist in the school’s jazz competition, and studied composition, piano, and classical guitar with some of the country's top teachers. ​ In 2006, Amihai moved to the city of lights, and quickly became a leading figure on the Parisian jazz scene. He formed his quintet, the Yuval Amihai Ensemble, and won two of the most prestigious jazz competitions in France: The Jazz at Saint-Germain-des-Pres Competition, where he won the First Prize (Best Ensemble), and the National Jazz Competition of La Defense, where he won the Grand Prize (Best Ensemble), and Best Composer Prize. The band also won the third prize at the Hoeilaart International Jazz Competition in Belgium. In the following years, they performed regularly in various clubs, venues, and festivals throughout Paris and the rest of France and Europe. 2012 saw the release of Amihai’s debut album, Yuval Amihai Ensemble, which strongly echoed the sounds and culture he absorbed growing up in Israel. Following the release, the guitarist won a grant from the French Copyright Organization, Sacem. The album received positive reviews in French media and was featured on many national and international playlists and radio broadcasts. In 2014, he started traveling regularly to New York City and found a new source of great inspiration in its culture and its vibrant scene. In the ensuing years, Amihai recorded albums two and three in his oeuvre, Longing (released in 2015 on the French label L'Autre Distribution), and I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But The Blues (2018.

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Album Review

Yuval Amihai: My 90s Summer

Read "My 90s Summer" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

This fourth album from Yuval Amihai takes inspiration from the halcyon days of a summer long past, recalling formative experiences of a youth spent in the desert city of Beer Sheva in Israel. But it also draws heavily on the guitarist's globetrotting as an adult, looking toward years spent in France and a new life in New York. A work supported by those broad interests and influences spanning decades, My 90s Summer is nevertheless a remarkably focused date showcasing a ...

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"Timeless and Lyrical" (The New York City Jazz Record)

"Extremely Elegant" (Jazz News Magazine)

"A Master of Melody" (FIP Radio France)

"Undeniably promising ..." - Olivier Bride, Guitarist Magazine "A magical virtuosity ..." - Alexandre Lemaire, Djam

"An exciting collection of standards" - Lionel Eskenazi, Jazz Magazine

"warmly recommended..." - Etienne de Villars, TSF Jazz Radio

"A gem" - Vincent Bessières, Jazz News Magazine

On Yuval Amihai Ensemble

“Innovative orchestrations…” - Jazz Magazine "The word that comes immediately to mind when listening to the first record of Yuval Amihai Ensemble, is "lyricism" ... There is something irresistible in their sunny expressiveness combining virtuosity and accessibility. This is a story that is told, and every page opens wide the doors for adeclaration of a universal love" - Denis Desassis, Citizen Jazz

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Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

My 90s Summer

Fresh Sound Records


I Ain't Got Nothin'...

Fresh Sound Records



Self Produced


Yuval Amihai Ensemble

Self Produced


Lover Man

From: Longing
By Yuval Amihai


From: Yuval Amihai Ensemble
By Yuval Amihai

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