Yaron Herman

(Website)

Yaron Herman was born on 12th July 1981 in Tel Aviv. He started out on a promising career as a basketball player on the Israeli national junior team but that was cut short by a serious knee injury which quashed his sporting ambitions. He only decided to take up playing the piano, at the age of 16. His teacher was the renowned Opher Brayer, famous for his methods based on philosophy, mathematics and psychology. Yaron was soon giving his first performances in the most prestigious concert halls in Israel.
At 16, Yaron left for Boston where he planned to enroll at the Berklee College School of Music. He found it didn’t satisfy his craving for knowledge and discovery and decided to return to Tel Aviv. On the way back he stopped over in Paris, that evening he met some musicians during a jam session and was given a contract the very next day. He never left Paris from then on. It was a period of musical exchanges and getting to know people while he started to make a name for himself on the parisien musical scene.
His enthusiasm and talent, surprising in someone so young, meant that he quickly became the pianist that everyone was talking about with admiration and stupefaction. He was awarded the Sunside « New Talents » Trophy by unanimous vote. At 21, he recorded his first album « Takes 2 to know 1 »on the Sketch Label alongside Sylvain Ghio. He developed a theory of musical improvisation called « Real Time Composition » which earned him the chance to give a series of lectures at the Sorbonne.
In October 2005 he recorded his first piano solo album « Variations » on the brand new LaBorie Jazz Label on which he presents his « Themes and Variations » concept. Thus each tune, each theme in our collective memory can serve as an excuse for playful, creative innovation, improvisation and invention. Amazingly original and lyrical.

The album received particularly good reviews and Yaron started to give his first solo performances in Europe, in South America, in the United States and in China where he was the first Jazz pianist to play in the Forbidden City in Beijing.
In 2007 he was elected Adami Jazz Talent by the French artistic community. There is the same astonishment each time he plays, his charisma, his enthusiasm and his lyricism leave the audience deeply moved. After more than a hundred solo concerts around the world, Yaron recorded his first album as a trio « A Time for Everything » (launched in October 2007 on the LaBorie Jazz Label) along with Matt Brewer (Gonzalo Rubalcapa’s renowned double bass player) and Gerald Cleaver (drummer for Miroslav Vitous and Jacky Terrasson) a subtle blend of jazz , pop and his own personal compositions. His very original version of « Toxic » by Britney Spears and his cover of Police’s « Message in a Bottle » brought his music to a wider audience and rapidly won them over. The album received critical acclaim winning « Choc Jazzman » of the year and « Disque d’émoi Jazz Magazine ».
In 2008, the trio toured Europe, the United States and Brazil with impressive results. To mention but a few: the Monterey Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Festival, the Weiner Konzert-Haus, the Auditori in Barcelona, the Juan Les Pins Festival, the Vittoria Gasteiz Festival. At the same time Yaron Herman was working in collaboration with Michel Portal, Bertrand Chamayou, Lars Danielsson, Yael Naim and others, such as Dominic Miller, Sting’s guitarist.
In September 2008, Yaron won the award for best new instrumentalist of the year at the « Victoires du Jazz ». His Belgrade concert, in October, was broadcast live in 39 countries on the musical TV channel Mezzo – an incredible media event in the jazz calender. The trio returned to the recording studio after having done more than a hundred concerts together. This time they have invited a string quartet the « Quatuor Ebène », sensational new artists from the world of classical music, to play on their album « Muse », to be released in March 2009 on the LaBorie Jazz Label.
In 2009 Yaron Herman performed in the Theatre des Champs Elysées in Paris, in the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo in April, in China and in numerous festivals in Europe and in the United States. His impressive schedule of concerts across the world (more than 100 concerts played in 30 different countries), his popularity with younger audiences and his dazzling career to date confirm that he is an exceptional phenomenon, unique in the history of piano playing.
His latest release “Follow the White Rabbit” on German label ACT has been a big international success.

Albums

Alter Ego

Label: ACT
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: September 26, 2012

For the first time, Yaron has expressed such emotions on record with a quartet. Alongside him, on saxophone, is Emile Parisien, another brilliant ambassador for his generation, one that bubbles freely without any complexes; on double bass is Stéphane Kerecki, a loyal friend and peerless bassist who regularly plays on tour with Yaron. Finally, there’s also his “long-time brother”, Ziv Ravitz, an Israeli drummer who completes the line-up marvellously. And they have a special guest: saxophonist Logan Richardson skilfully contributes that special colour which typifies the new generation of musicians from New York.

Yaron Herman - Alter Ego

Follow The White Rabbit

Label: ACT
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: October 21, 2010

Follow the white Rabbit" is Yaron’s invitation to his first album on ACT, a reference to the mischievous character from Lewis Carrol’s story, who leads Alice on an amazing journey down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Yaron’s Wonderland is all about music and piano. Without conceding to any particular facility, he knows how to abolish the conventions of musical genres, blurring the tracks and the boundaries of jazz improvisation, pop and classical counterpoint, all with an impish glee. Yaron’s wonderland is an uninhibited novelty world, full of freshness, which seems to flow with an inexhaustible energy. Accompanied by the groovy Chris Tordini on bass and the swinging Tommy Crane on drums, the chemistry of this cosmopolitan trio is apparent from the very first notes and with this album Yaron Herman confirms more than ever all the hopes and promises that were born of his previous records.
This trio knows how to assimilate all the influences, all the energies, all the playgrounds of their time to reinvent their own musical language, one that is original, sincere and full of emotion. A real magic trick!

Yaron Herman - Follow The White Rabbit

Muse

Label: La Borie
Release date: March 10, 2009

Yaron Herman, best new instrumentalist in the French « Victoires du Jazz » in 2008, brings us his new album «Muse» with his trio and the guest appearance of the string quartet « Quatuor Ebène », on the La Borie-Jazz label (distributed by Naïve). After two intense years on tour, the trio (composed of Matt Brewer on double bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums) continue the success story of their highly acclaimed first album « A Time for Everything » (« choc jazzman » of the year in 2007 and « disque d’émoi 2007» in Jazz Magazine).
The three partners, now closer than ever, take us on a journey which covers jazz, pop and improvisation. They are supported to great effect on several tracks by the extremely creative Ebony Quartet, a revelation from the classical music scene.

Yaron Herman - Muse

A Time For Everything

Label: LaBorie Jazz
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: October 01, 2007

Judging by the success of his first solo album ” Variations ” (LABORIE Jazz label), and his recent nomination for the ” Talent Jazz Adami 2007 ” award, Yaron Herman is surely the most impressive pianist of the new generation. On his new album he is accompanied by the tremendous drummer, Gerald Cleaver (who plays with Miroslav Vitous, Matthew Shipp, Jacky Terrasson) and the young but no less talented bass player, Matt Brewer (who gave remarkable performances with Greg Osby and in Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s new quintet). The famous quote by Miles Davis ” You live in a modern house. You drive a modern car. You watch modern television. Why make music that is antiquated? ” takes on a new meaning listening to ” A Time for Everything ”.

Yaron Herman - A Time For Everything

Variations

Label: Laborie Jazz - LJ01
Distribution in France: Naïve
Release date: April 04, 2005

Following a residence of several weeks at the La Borie castle in the South West of France, Yaron finished recording his first solo piano work “Variations”, representing his concept of themes and variations. Each melody, each theme is the point of departure for joyful and creative re-creation, for improvisation and for invention. His originality and his lyrical talent are quite overwhelming. He will debark on a very filled concert schedule as soloist and sideman, which will take him across Europe, to Israel and on to China, for a unique solo concert at the great concert hall of the Forbidden City of Peking. A promising start for what looks like it will be an exceptional career.

Yaron Herman - Variations