Miri ben ari dating
"Caravan" may have been recorded countless times by others, but the youthful Ben-Ari takes this exotic standard in a new direction.
Guest guitarist Ron Afiff is added for a turbocharged romp through Sonny Rollins' "Pent Up House" (a favorite of Grappelli), while her passionate interpretation of Herbie Hancock's modal masterpiece "Maiden Voyage" will also turn heads.
Miri Ben-Ari’s spooky ability to make her violin talk in a multiplicity of voices, from classical, to jazz, to soul, to hip-hop, has made the classically trained cat-suited Israeli violinist a favorite of artists like Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, and Kanye West (she co-wrote “Jesus Walks” and produced many other songs on West’s debut, ). I asked my dad not too long ago, “How did you let me do that, it’s insane.” And he said, “You were so focused as a kid, you knew what you were doing, I didn’t worry about you.” I liked to practice, to do my own thing, and then I was exploring other types of music, and I fell in love with jazz. Because I was in this bubble and I always was with people that played and knew me because we played. Your prior existence, personality, your assumptions about yourself, your context are all wiped clean, and then you realize, “I could be anyone! And my problem was that I was very stuck on classical. Betty Carter said to me something the first day that I got into Jazz Ahead. And the person who invited me thought I was amazing. And he was like: “By yourself.” I’m like, where is the beat? So, I went over to him and I said to him, “Listen, I’m about to get on stage, you’re gonna flip beats behind me.” And I said to him, “Keep changing records.” And he looked at me. And then at some point the crowd got very, very loud. The next thing that happened was that the Apollo producer invited me to get on the show to perform. And you gotta understand, I came up with that concept using strings that way first. Continue reading: The new single, and a video shot in Israel The first time I saw the classical-hip-hop fusion thing was probably before you came to New York. Nothing changed since I fell in love with Charlie Parker. If you told me you were there I would have invited you to my set because I just got back.
Ben Ari’s mastery of technique is more than matched by a drive for emotional and musical openness that declared itself with unusual strength—accompanied by occasional tears, and a cappuccino—during a long lunch at Antica Botega del Vino, a wine bar near Central Park. Tell me about being this girl from the classical bubble, who didn’t like to follow instructions of any kind and gets thrown out of school, and then goes to serve in the Israeli Army. There it was basic training with a group of chicks from everywhere. And they loved me for who I was, without knowing anything about what I do. And because of that, it gives you that sensation that everything is possible. She said to me, “Miri, you’re white, you’re a girl, and you play violin. Because she probably felt that way when she was young too. And he said the producer of the Apollo is in the house, and I want you to play. I was like, “Don’t worry.” I was a jazz musician, I can play on any record on any given time, and live, it’s nothing to me. So, I went on stage, I closed my eyes—back then I didn’t look at the audience yet—and he started flipping hip-hop beats. It was so loud that I thought that a fight broke in the audience. Also, one of the people who heard me at a jam session brought me to Wyclef, and I started hanging out at the studio with Wyclef, who at the time didn’t even look at me. LL Cool J did this amazing show for MTV Unplugged where he did his album “Mama Said Knock You Out” backed by a 30-piece orchestra with strings, and it was just him, no shirt, 400 people. I’m about to release a single called “Dim the Lights.” It has this soul feel, like feel-good type of music with a crazy solo violin in the middle. The way you’re talking about the songs, you’re talking like a producer. I programmed everything, I performed all instruments, and I’m doing some vocals too. And it was important for me to produce a song like that because I take pride in a being female producer, and being able to sit in the studio and program and play all the instruments and engineer.
The following is an edited version of portions of our conversation. In you, I feel that intense desire for mastery and that intense drive that blocks out everything else. And when he used to produce, I used to stand in the hallway and play along with the beats. There is a saying in jazz, you know, break open the box—the violin case—so there I was, always in people’s faces, playing. When you met him, what did he transmit, what did he want, what did you feel from him? He said, “I’m not a good performer, the stage is not my thing.” He said, “I need people, I need good performances to make my show real good.” He’s amazing person, very humble. Universe, I did a few shows for Donna Karan, so when I wrote it, I kind of imagined the runway. You have to understand I grew up in Israel wearing jeans and a wife beater. Do you see anyone here on the street wearing Crocs? It’s all good, it’s beautiful—because it makes me the down to earth person that I am.
When did you first pick up a violin, and what was your relationship to it when you were young? It was a very difficult instrument, and I liked the difficulty. My brother and I were part of a gifted-kids program put together by Isaac Stern. And they started saying, “Oh my god, that sounds so good, can you record that? He sat through my entire performance with his DJ, you know, and we came up with something, me and his DJ, and that was it! And in the second show, I played with him “Big Pimpin’.” It’s insane! A lot of things, like discovering the whole fashion world, were very fresh for me. Yes, it’s great to grow up listening to Stevie Wonder.
Her buoyant treatment of "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" showcases Kikoski with a series of brief breaks by Hass.
Her enticing originals include the funky "The Temple of Beautiful," the Latin-flavored blues "Mother Shipton," and the soulful "Give Me Some." Highly recommended.
“Dim the Lights,” the first single off her upcoming album, is already out: The video features Ben-Ari flying on a violin, and Ben-Ari and a dog wearing identical sunglasses, and sounds like something you’d hear in a cool late-night club in Paris. To master an instrument like that especially as a child, it’s got to connect to such basic drives. He was really at a fantastic time in his career and he was producing so many artists. I produced the music in a fashion show for Zac Posen last year, I performed at Ms. And I’m wearing the craziest wardrobe in the video. And I was like, “Oh, my god, I’m homeless, no money, no communication skills, no family! But always with musicians, we have a language in common, we have music. You couldn’t find a boyfriend with a decent apartment? And the concert that we had, the mentioned two people—and I was one of them. She sent me, she recommended me to festivals, and her office recommended me after she passed. So, this radio station had an event, and they had an already signed group playing there. There has to be a crazy amount of steel in you to push that idea through. I tell the story with the music, you know, since I don’t use words.I liked the challenge of being able to play really fast. And almost every single person or kid that was there, they were all like concert masters or soloists. ” So I wound up recording tons of things, some of them came out commercially, like Alicia Keys’ “Fallin’.” I met Michael Jackson. And then, Wyclef needed someone to help him with his Carnegie Hall project, someone who understood classical and hip-hop. From “The Violinist,” it was “Miri.” I was a good Jew, so I negotiated a feature, and I got screamed at by his people: How dare I negotiate a feature! Like, you know, everything discovering everything in my career was like it was the first time. Now imagine what it’s like to listen to Stevie Wonder for the first time when you’re 20 years old, after you know music enough to appreciate it. ” Israelis now have a different relation to American culture than they did 20 years ago.The classical music bubble in Israel was a very intelligent group of people, coming from an intelligent group of parents, very nonviolent, it was a good situation, you know. And as part of the negotiation, I got to work with his DJ. It captured my talent on national TV, and it was so successful that had me back for next week. A., and I said to him, “Honey, come help me.” Jay-Z approached me, Kanye West approached me. To feel the attention of Jay-Z on you, wanting your music, what did that feel like? Jamming with jazz artists probably intimidated me more, because they’re playing all of this crazy harmony and rhythms. The cultures have come closer together in part because Israel has changed, in part because more people have been going back and forth.Israeli jazz violinist Miri Ben-Ari's second CD as a leader is a powerful live date recorded at the Blue Note in New York City.
Accompanied by a powerful rhythm section consisting of pianist David Kikoski, bassist Matthew Parrish, and drummer Steve Hass, Ben-Ari is an original on the instrument, displaying the fire of Stuff Smith, the aggressive bop technique of Jean-Luc Ponty in his early years, and the ability to swing like Stephane Grappelli.