About

AVI WISNIA

Think Ben Folds meets Norah Jones,
if they had a lovechild in Brazil.

SHORT BIO:

Award-winning singer/songwriter Avi Wisnia presents an eclectic mix of refreshingly original songs and inventive covers, finding inspiration in Brazilian bossa nova, acoustic American folk, 1950’s west-coast jazz, and contemporary pop. Avi’s clever lyrics give a knowing nod to his contemporaries, while his smooth vocals and deft piano skills assure you that this is truly something new. Avi tours in support of his debut album, Something New, performing in prestigious venues around the world – from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to The Kennedy Center in Washington DC to concerts in Warsaw, Poland and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His latest single “Sky Blue Sky” was recorded via satellite between Philadelphia and Brazil, winning recognition from the Philadelphia Songwriters Project and MidAtlantic Songwriters Competition. In addition to being a performing songwriter, Avi Wisnia has also given a TED talk about “The Nature and Nurture of Bossa Nova” and performed with The Moth storytellers.


photo by Chris M. Junior

COMPLETE BIO:

Singer/Songwriter Avi Wisnia presents an eclectic mix of refreshingly original songs, finding inspiration in classic Brazilian bossa nova, acoustic American folk, 1950’s west-coast jazz, and contemporary pop. A wordsmith as well as a composer and performer, Avi’s clever lyrics give a knowing nod to those that came before, while his smooth vocals and deft piano skills assure you that this is truly something new.

Fans say it is Avi Wisnia’s live performance that really captures his musical virtuosity, his humor and his energy. Avi showcases his own music with unexpected arrangements, he reinterprets songs from the American song book and Brazilian bossa nova canon and he experiments with contemporary pop tunes from artists like Lauryn Hill, Bjork, Wilco and The Cure, stripping them down, taking them apart and reviving them with a new dynamic spirit.

In the summer of 2007, after earning an enthusiastic following, Avi gathered a few of his band members in the sanctuary of the New Jersey synagogue where his father serves as rabbi to record his debut EP, “Avi Wisnia Presents:”. In 2 days, 7 tracks were recorded. The CD was released in the fall with sold-out shows at The Bitter End in NYC, where Avi lived, and at The Tin Angel in Philadelphia, where he is from.  His debut full-length studio album, “Something New”, showcases him as a formidable talent and a true artist on the rise.  Produced by Grammy-winner Glenn Barratt (Melody Gardot, Amos Lee), the album features Avi’s signature songwriting supported by lush arrangements in a variety of styles.  The album also features prominent local Philadelphia musicians including supporting vocals from fellow songwriter Lizanne Knott.


photo by Chris M. Junior

Avi Wisnia currently lives in the city of Philadelphia. He and his talented ensemble continue to play shows across the country, sharing the stage an eclectic array of artists like The Roots, Ani DiFranco, Arturo Sandoval and Maroon 5, performing at such prestigious venues as The Kennedy Center (DC), The Hammerstein Ballroom (NYC), World Café Live (Philly), and in renown music festivals including SxSW and CMJ. Avi is the winner of several OutMusic Awards (2009, 2010, 2012) and was most recently named Outstanding Keyboard Player of the Year at the MoBucks Music Awards (2013) in Pennsylvania.  Avi has also won CMJ’s Zig Zag Live Competition, was named a finalist in Rolling Rock’s National Band Search, and gave a TED talk about “The Nature and Nurture of Bossa Nova”. The music video for “Rabbit Hole” was honored as an Official Selection at the Florida Indie Film Festival and The Philadelphia Film Festival.  His songs have been featured in movies such as ”All Dressed Up” and “Party on the 49th Floor” in addition to ABC, NBC and MNN TV Shows.

Giving back and creating community through music has always remained a priority. In 2008, Avi created The No Brainer Benefit Concert with his family, which continues to raise funds and awareness for The National Brain Tumor Society. He has organized and hosted events like the annual Make Music New York Festival, The Bent Compass Party (for LGBT artists) and The House of Tribes Fundraiser (for Habitat for Humanity). Avi works with students, from high-schools to pre-schools, encouraging a new enthusiasm for music through discussions, workshops and interactive performances.  Avi is also the creator of and ensemble director for The New York Megaphonica.


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