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Take Five with Shauli Einav


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Meet Shauli Einav:

Shauli Einav is an emerging jazz saxophonist. He has already performed with his ensembles on prestigious stages such as the Red Sea Jazz Festival, The Israel Festival in Jerusalem, The Rochester International Jazz Festival, Tel-Aviv Intl Jazz Festival, The Knitting Factory NYC, Fat Cat, Smalls and more. Shauli has been invited to perform with some of today's finest jazz musicians, including bassist Omer Avital, pianist Aaron Goldberg, guitarists Bob Sneider and Frank Gambale, and the late saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, among others.

His second album which is about to be released in September, 2010 and features some of the best musicians in the jazz world, including pianist Shai Maestro (Avishai Cohen Trio) and drummer Johnathan Blake (Kenny Barron Trio, Tom Harrell Quintet).

Shauli released his debut CD, Home Seek, in February, 2008 and was featured on WXXI NPR station in Rochester, as well as Israel's national broadcast station "Kol Hamusika," Barcelona Jazz Radio and 90.1 Jazz Station of Rochester.

Shortly after earning a B.M degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Shauli relocated to the United States, where he just graduated with Masters degree at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, in Rochester NY. While in Israel, he won second place in the Jerusalem Academy duo competition. In 2005, that same year, Shauli received grants from the America-Israel Culture Fund, and a scholarship from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. to study in the U.S.

At Eastman, Shauli held an assistant teaching position directing the ESM Non-Jazz Majors Jazz Ensemble. He was nominated for the T.A Prize in 2008. He has gained valuable teaching experience also while working for the Eastman Summer Jazz Program in 2007 and 2008, and gave master classes while performing with the Apollo Middle School Big Band, in Greece, NY in 2006. Prior to his arrival in the States, Shauli also taught master classes in various conservatories throughout Israel.

Shauli is also a talented composer and arranger. In the summer of 2007 he completed a transcription project of the nonet recordings made by the late jazz pianist Andrew Hill. The transcriptions were played in the annual Jazz Chamber concert in Kilbourn Hall, Rochester, NY and Shauli was awarded the Billy Joel scholarship for his work.

His composition "Shavu'ot" received an Honorable Mention from ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Competition 2008 and also an ASCAPLUS Award. Though deeply rooted in bebop and post-bop, he aims to take jazz in new directions by combining the musical jargon of his Mediterranean Israeli heritage with the traditional western jazz standard form.

Saxophonist Walt Weiskopf has said of him:

"Shauli is extremely talented and has tremendous instinctive love for every aspect of jazz. His tenor playing is authentic and rooted. He is extremely imaginative and has the ability to truly improvise at the highest level and most sophisticated level in the jazz idiom. At the same time, [he] has the utmost respect for the tradition in jazz and it is this sincerity that makes his playing so compelling"

Today, in addition to playing, Shauli resides in NYC and continues to write his own music and arrange for large jazz ensembles.


Soprano and tenor saxophones.

Teachers and/or influences?

My first jazz teacher and biggest inspiration was the late saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, who came to Israel in a mission to unite Jews and Arabs through music. Other great teachers I had are: Walt Weiskopf, Dave Liebman, Bill Dobbins, Harold Danko, Aaron Hankin, Boris Gammer, Guri Agmon and Eli Benacot.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

When I enjoyed and felt free to improvise on a professional stage.

Your sound and approach to music:

My sound is something that I try to keep sincere and touching to the listener. I admire the sound of Ben Webster and his control of subtle changes in the texture of his sound.

My approach to music is that it's all about the beauty and integrity. Beauty means many things and can be expressed in many different ways. I feel that being real and telling the truth is the most important things I can do when playing my horn.

Your teaching approach:

Positive and firm. I believe that a new student has an advantage that we as pro musicians sometime lose, which is the natural enjoyment of music. I must be positive with my student so he will keep enjoying the music and will continue.

Your dream band:

My current band that I recorded with: Andy Hunter on trombone, Shai Maestro on piano, Joseph Lepore on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Not a road story but just an experience as a kid, when I was about age 16, I came to NYC for a visit, went to the jam session at Cleopatra's Needle, got to play, closed my eyes, I thought I was playing really good until I hear a trumpet sound coming from the entrance and cutting me in the middle of my solo, I opened my eyes and saw Roy Hargrove next to me.

Favorite venue:

Smalls for the intimate cozy feel it has, the creative vibe there and the supportive listening audience.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

"Sunshine Ballad," from my next album. It was just one of these takes that everything fell in together, very sensitive playing from all the guys in the band.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

George Coleman, Live at Yoshi's.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Honesty, integrity and vitality. Music is organized tones in space and time while creating an experience to the listener. I do my best to take my listener through an experience when playing.

Did you know...

I used to dance in a folk dance group for eight years!

CDs you are listening to now:

Hank Mobley, Soul Station (Blue Note);

Daniel Ori, So It Goes (Art of Life);

Tom Harrell, Prana Dance (High Note).

Desert Island picks:

Miles Davis, Nefertiti (Columbia);

John Coltrane, Crescent (Impulse);

John Coltrane}, Live in Seattle (Impulse);

Wes Montgomery, The Amazing Jazz Guitar (Prestige);

Charlie Parker, Savoy Recordings.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Get the people to come out from their houses and go to live performances at little café's and large concert halls.

What is in the near future?

Releasing a new album in September 2010 and touring the NorthEast.

By Day:

Teaching music to k-6 children and playing with Pey Dalid Jewish Funk band.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Probably an architect.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Shauli Einav

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