Omer Ashano    Musician
New York , NY
  • About
  • Award-winning cross-genre violinist. Performed and recorded internationally playing Jazz, Classical music, Rock, Folk and World music.
  • Genre(s)
    Rock Folk Classical Jazz World
  • Venues
    cafe bars restaurant corporate events Music Venues Concert Halls
  • Followers
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  • Following
    0
  • Events
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Featured Music  (2)
Jazz trio
Performing the tune "Days of Wine And Ro ...
Gypsy Jazz Quartet
In the style of Django Reinhardt!
Other Videos  (2)
Solo performance
Solo performance with a loop pedal at an Artery event
Folk/Americana band
Biography

 

 

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 all my tactical skills on the violin in the garbage and switched to guitar—through which I was exposed to new, more 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 jazz solo, where I transcribed 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 cultural exchange program. 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, Gidi Gov, RedBand, Gal De Paz, Ella Daniel, Nechi Nech, Lukach 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 the way down to here!

 

Awards & Appreciations
  • America-Israel Cultural Foundation grant


  • Member of the Tau-Sigma Honorary society at The Newschool