Avishai Darash is an Israeli Amsterdam-based pianist and composer whose style is derived from North African traditional music, Western classical music, American jazz and Israeli folk, amongst others.
Avishai’s enthusiasm for music developed at an early age and his family encouraged him to pursue his interest. At the age of 16, he attended his first jazz concert and was deeply moved by the experience. He immediately began taking piano lessons under the guidance of composer / pianist Ittai Rosenbaum , which ultimately lead him to understand that music was not simply a passion of his, but something that he wished to dedicate his life to.
between 2008-2010, Avishai attended a Bachelor program degree at the Jerusalem Academy for Music and Dance under the guidance of Erez Barnoy, Ilan Mochiach and Ittai Rosenbaum.
In the course of his studies, Avishai gained international experience when he travelled to New York City, where he studied with George Cables and Bob Cranshaw.
In late 2010, Avishai moved to The Netherlands when he was accepted at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. His time at the institution brought him many contacts in the city which he later assimilated in different productions he lead.
From 2012 till 2017, Avishai worked closely with the Dutch / Moroccan oud virtuoso Mohamed Ahaddaf as his pianist and arranger. They toured Northern Africa, Europe and South-East Asia and they released two albums together, "Spoken Soul" and "Seasons".
Avishai's debut album "Impermanence" features the rising talents of the international jazz scene - Ofri Nehemya on drums and Avri Borochov on bass, alongside a string quartet of the award-winning Dutch orchestra "Metropole Orkest" .
Avishai has released in 2018 the project - "Nomadic Treasures", a European-based collective of musicians under the Italian label A.MA Edizioni. So far, the album has received praising reviews. His second album with the label "SAMSKARA" has been released in may 2019 and is already gaining momentum and critical appraise.
In 2020 Avishai has received the prestigious position of artistic director, first arranger, composer and pianist of the Marmoucha Orchestra . The position is shared together with artistic coordinator and Ud virtuoso Mohamed Ahaddaf. The orchestra has produced 4 studio albums and 1 live recording in Paradiso and TivoliVredenburg. The Orchestra has 17 nationalities, all creating and performing original and traditional music. The Orchestra has collaborated with Mehdi Nassouli. Ahmed Chawki, Abir El Abed, Naoufal Farouki, Issam Sarhan and Montse Cortez to name a few.
The orchestra is supported by the national performing arts of The Netherlands and the regional funds of Amsterdam, making it one of the most divers and interesting orchestras in The Netherlands. Besides musical productions, the orchestra is a multidisciplinary platform for theater and education.
In 2021 Avishai has joined the pioneering program MusicalMakers. The program entails the new sound of Musicals in the Netherlands, coached by leading figures of the business. This trajectory puts Avishai as one of the more interesting composer to find today in The Netherlands in both the interdisciplinary music and theater scenes.
Avishai's latest album "Andalusian Love Song" has been released with the help of the Marmoucha Foundation and SENA production fonds. The album is considered to be "Avishai's best work to date" (All About jazz) and it features a pallet of 16 divers musicians from jazz, pop, classical and Arabic music.
between 2017-2019 Avishai has held the position of Pianist and Arranger for Amsterdam's Andalusian Orchestra. They have performed across The Netherlands and Belgium.
Avishai has performed at: the Bimhuis (NL), Het Concertgebouw (NL), The International Ud festival in Jerusalem (IL), Southeast JazzFest (NL), McGill University of the Arts (Canada) De Centrale (Belgium), Mohammed V (Morocco),The International World music festival of Jenjou (S.Korea), Ballet De Marsseile and Paradiso among others.
Avishai won at several international competitions, such as the "All around jazz-Rome ensemble" (2nd place), The Richard Lupien MIMC for Classical improvisation (Finalist -2014) and The Leiden Jazz award (Best soloist). Avishai is also a recipient of a production grant from SENA for his first album with the Marmoucha Orchestra - "Andalusian Love Song"
Beside his various musical projects, he teaches and coaches young musicians on their way of mastering the piano and the music business.