Tuned In to Avi Wisnia

August 26, 2008 7:31:57 AM PDT
Our featured Tuned In artist this week is Avi Wisnia. He is a singer songwriter from the Philadelphia area. He is the son of a Rabbi who sings a mesh of Brazilian styled music with traditional genres. We caught up with him during a show at The World Café Live. Here is his biography...

"Singer/Songwriter Avi Wisnia combines classic Brazilian Bossa Nova with a catchy, singular sound that is at once engagingly familiar and refreshingly unique. With a versatile repertoire of well-crafted, melodic original tracks and inventive arrangements of standards, Wisnia and his talented ensemble allow the Brazilian influence that unifies their songs to be interpreted through folk, jazz, soul and pop,. A wordsmith as well as a composer and performer, Wisnia's clever lyrics pay a knowing nod to his contemporaries, while his smooth vocals assure you that this is something entirely new.

How the son of a rabbi from Jersey went Brazilian, we're not quite sure. Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Wisnia was glued to the piano as a child, composing from the moment he was able to reach the keys. Though he picked up various other instruments such as bassoon along the way, his extensive classical training opened the doors to award-winning compositions and numerous performance opportunities. Wisnia's musical curiousity and hunger for a fresh sound helped him experiment with many genres, and eventually led him to discover something new in an old classic, "The Girl From Ipanema."

Avi Wisnia moved to New York City in 2001 to cultivate his new love of Brazilian music and to surround himself with some of the most creative musical minds in the world. In doing so, he found a surging number of people who wanted to hear him sing and play. After years of studying, songwriting and collaborating, Wisnia began to perform seriously as a solo artist in 2005 with the help of special guest new york city talent: string players, brass players, vocalists and percussionists. He was able to elevate his soulful signature style by putting together an international group of musicians who all shared the same affinity for the laid-back groove of the Bossa Nova.

Fans say it is Wisnia's live shows that encapsulate his musical virtuosity, his humor and his energy, transporting them to the warm sands of the beachs of Rio de Janeiro. Performing new arrangements in both English and Portuguese, Avi Wisnia reinterprets the bossa nova classics that emerged from Brazil in the late 50's and 60's, revisiting legendary musicians such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Chico Buarque and Paulinho da Viola. Wisnia is also known for experimenting with the bossa sound by taking contemporary pop songs from artists like Lauryn Hill, Bjork, Wilco and The Cure, stripping them down, taking them apart and reviving them with a new bossa spirit.

Avi Wisnia currently divides his time between New York City and Philadelphia. He and his band continue to play shows across the country, performing at such venues as Lincoln Center, World Café Live, Birdland, Symphony Space, The Bitter End, and a most recent sold-out performance at The Tin Angel. Wisnia has won CMJ's Zig Zag Live Competition, was named a finalist in Rolling Rock's National Band Search, and received several songwriting honors for his song "Rabbit Hole." Wisnia has also shared the stage with such diverse artists as indie-rock darlings Au Revoir Simone, folk singer Josh Joplin and entertainer Tony Orlando.

After releasing his debut EP, Avi Wisnia Presents:, in 2007, Avi Wisnia is currently recording his second EP, and touring up and down the East Coast."

Please enjoy the performance video from his show at The World Café Live

You are now Tuned In to Avi Wisnia.

On the web: http://www.aviwisnia.com


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