- More Info
Oran Ektin has been described as a "great clarinet player, excellent improviser" by New York Times critic Ben Ratliff and a "composer of eminent individuality" by his mentor and teacher, the legendary Yusef Lateef. His music is featured on several CDs, including a GRAMMY Award winning children’s compilation and he was voted #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in DownBeat Magazine’s 2016 Critics Poll. From his debut album Kelenia with West African musicians to his Gathering Light project inspired by musical collaborations around the world and his latest album “What’s New? Reimagining Benny Goodman”, Etkin’s unique sound draws on deep traditions from Africa, Israel, New Orleans and beyond, yet resonates with the driving energy of the modern New York jazz scene.
Grateful for the guidance he received from his teachers Dave Liebman, Dave Krakauer, Yusef Lateef and George Garzone, Etkin feels a responsibility to pass on the joys of music to the next generation! He found he can have the deepest impact by reaching children at a young age, so he spent years creating the Timbalooloo Method, which has now been taught to over 1,000 young children in New York. Harvie Keitel, who enrolled his son in 3 years of Timbalooloo classes, remarked that “our son was talking about Herbie Hancock, Mozart, Samba and African music - and he knew the difference!”. In fact, Herbie Hancock recently found out about the children learning his music through Timbalooloo and invited Etkin to perform it in Paris for UNESCO’s International Jazz Day. Hancock makes a brief appearance in one of the Timbalooloo TV videos, which UNESCO premiered at schools and venues in its 195 partner countries this year.
Following the release of his award winning children’s album, “Wake Up, Clarinet!”, Etkin began touring internationally with his Timbalooloo band, performing for families at Newport Jazz Festival, ELB Jazz Fest, Keo Plaza in Tokyo, Istanbul Jazz Festival and more. In the concerts, the children meet Etkin’s friend Clara, who they wake up by singing to her and soon find out that her full name is Clara Net… Etkin’s Clarinet! Clara Net speaks through her music and calls for her mother — Big Mama Tuba — who makes a dramatic entrance from the back of the audience as the kids sing “Big Mama Tuba why don’t you come out and play”. Together with the full band, Etkin takes the kids on an interactive journey around the world - from Duke’s Place in Harlem to the deserts of Mali.
In addition to performing with Timbalooloo, Etkin is also touring his “What’s New? Reimagining Benny Goodman” project (with Steve Nelson, Matt Wilson, Sullivan Fortner and guest singer Charenee Wade), Gathering Light (with Nasheet Waits, Ben Allison and guest Lionel Loueke) as well as his duo with Sullivan Fortner. Their recent duo concert in Paris was selected as one of the Top 6 musical highlights of 2015 by Libération, which described it as "a concert of weightlessness, class, spark, inspiration and sharing. Magic uninterrupted for two hours. The crowd... went wild. For such is the music of Etkin: sensitive to the exchange with the audience."
- Kelenia (Motema Music, 2009)
- Wake Up Clarinet! (Motema Music, 2010)
- Gathering Light (Motema Music, 2014)
FESTIVAL REVIEW: Red Sea Jazz Festival - Jerusalem Post, February 12 2017
"In terms of entertainment mixed with edification, Oran Etkin took the biscuit. The thirty-something Israeli-born American reedman presented his renditions of numbers which were made famous by King of Swing clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman, mostly back in the 1930s."
"The Israeli-born clarinetist is known for his agile fusion of classical, Jewish and African-derived musical influences."
Renowned Jazz/World Artist Celebrates Benny Goodman - Danbury NewsTimes, Septermber 11, 2015
"Etkin appears to have perfected this magical way of making music and will perform with featured guests on Sunday, Sept. 13, following a champagne jazz brunch at the Ridgefield Playhouse."
Oran Etkin: What's New? Reimagining Benny Goodman - All About Jazz, September, 21, 2015
"If anybody thinks Benny Goodman and/or his music are passé, they need only spend a little time with this album to be proven dead wrong. Etkin does right by Goodman while still managing to maintain his own voice on this thrilling date."
Oran Etkin enchanter la clarinette jazz - Liberation, May 28, 2014
"Oran Etkin réveille l’enfant qui sommeille en nous. Certes pas un talent mince. Il suppose d’attirer la confiance, de promettre le bonheur et la beauté, de diffuser la bonté, de donner le sentiment de jouer. "
Sounds of the City preview: Oran Etkin adapts clarinet and sax to Malian traditions - NJ.com, July 1, 2011
"Oran Etkin first came across Malian music during an African dance class in 1998. In the years since then, the Brooklyn-based clarinetist and saxophonist has found a way to make music that draws on his jazz studies and his family roots in traditional Jewish music, as well as his awakening to the great music tradition of Mali."
Timbalooloo: Pied Piper Oran Etkin wakes up instruments and audiences - Philadelphia Free Press and Time Out NY , February 2010 and September, 2010
""The kids are mesmerized in his presence. Parents, too," says Mona Kayhan, co-producer of the "Putumayo Kids" album series, of the bornin-Israel, raised- and trained-in-the-U.S. Oran Etkin."