Avishai Cohen (born April 20, 1970 in Kibbutz Kabri, Israel) is an Israeli jazz bassist, composer, singer and arranger. Avishai grew up in a musical family at Kibbutz Kabri, Northern Israel. He began playing the piano at 9 years old, but changed to the bass guitar at the age of 14, inspired by legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius. Later, after playing in an Army band for two years, he began studying upright bass with maestro Michael Klinghoffer. Two years later moved to New York City. He studied music at Mannes College The New School for Music, and after playing Latin jazz in a few bands in his student years, Cohen was approached by pianist Danilo Pérez to join his trio.
After a long period of performing in small clubs, Cohen got a phone call from the jazz pianist Chick Corea and was given a record contract. In 1996, he became a founding member of Corea's sextet Origin, and his first four albums as a leader were subsequently released under Corea's Stretch label.
Cohen performed in Corea's bands until 2003, when he left the Chick Corea New Trio. He currently performs with his own group, the Avishai Cohen Trio (with New Jersey's Mark Guiliana on drums and Israel's Shai Maestro on the piano). His later albums have been released by this formation with extended lineup including wind instruments.
Aside from Corea, Cohen has accompanied, recorded or performed with several noted jazz figures such as Bobby McFerrin, Roy Hargrove, Herbie Hancock, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nnenna Freelon and Paquito D'Rivera. Other collaborators include Claudia Acuña (“Wind from the South,” 2000), Alicia Keys (studio recording) and the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras.