“Shauli Einav is a Titan of the tenor saxophone, a superman of the soprano saxophone, and a blowing bundle of virtuosity.” Jazz Inside Magazine
” …with his expressive horn, imaginative pen and confident band leading, Einav is already setting himself apart.” All About Jazz: New York
“Opus One has all of the elegance of the old masters while harmonically pushing things forward, and Einav’s not even thirty yet. Whatever happened to experience coming with age?” PopMatters
“Smartly played, swinging and evocative jazz album ” DownBeat Magazine
“…his immersion in the bebop tradition while revealing a fresh and original voice” Jazz Times
Opus One marks the emergence of a promising new talent on the jazz scene, saxophonist-composer-arranger, and bandleader Shauli Einav. On his startling debut to be released on the French Plus Loin Music label, the gifted young musician is accompanied by a stellar crew that includes pianist Shai Maestro, trombonist Andy Hunter, bassist Joseph Lepore, and drummer Johnathan Blake. Together, they interpret this richly rewarding music with rare chemistry and a collective sense of purpose that elevates the proceedings to some lofty peaks.
“I was really trying to make something meaningful and full of essence,” says Einav. “And while some of the tunes remind me of my homeland, I don’t see this as an Israeli album, it’s just music.”
A protégé of the late Arnie Lawrence, a Brooklyn-born saxophonist and educator who moved to Israel in 1997 and founded the International Center for Creative Music in Jerusalem, Einav was exposed to the concept of music operating on a deeper level than just notes on a page from the time he was a teenager. Arnie influenced almost every new Israeli jazz musician that has come to New York since the 90s.
“His main thing was that when you play, you have to play the truth and you have to play so it swings,” recalls Einav. “It’s not about just having fun, it’s about delivering a message to the world, whether it will be the most beautiful ballad or the most uptempo, swinging thing ever. Whatever you play, it has to have meaning and a strong sense of urgency behind it. And I think that’s a common thing among all of us who have gone through the Arnie Lawrence school. People like Eli Degibri, Avishai Cohen, the trumpeter, Omer Avital, and many others–they all play with something that really burns inside of them. And that’s one thing that I am trying to convey on this new album.
Born in Israel on July 1, 1982, Einav started studying violin at age four. He learned violin for seven years before switching to drums and recorders, which he played for two years. At age thirteen, he switched again, this time to alto saxophone. Seven years later, he switched to tenor sax. After receiving his Bachelors degree from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and a Masters degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Einav moved to New York City in the summer of 2008 and began making a dent on the jazz scene. Shauli made invaluable connections both through fellow Israeli musicians such as bassists Omer Avital and Avishai Cohen, who had already had a strong foothold in the Big Apple, and also by performing and hanging at jazz clubs like Smalls and Fat Cat.
“While I was in the Jerusalem Academy, AICF gave me the opportunity to focus more on my studies rather than how to fund them. AICF’s help encouraged me to further my studies with a Masters degree at the Eastman School of Music, which led me to the professional Jazz scene of New York City. To be an Israeli artist abroad is like being an ambassador for Israel on the best side possible, helping to show the world that Israel is not only about the tragic political conflict.”