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 also reinterprets songs from the American song book and Brazilian bossa nova canon and experiments with contemporary pop tunes from artists like Adele, Neil Young, Wilco and TLC: 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:”. The project was completed in just 2 days. The EP was released later that year with sold-out shows at The Bitter End in NYC and The Tin Angel in Philadelphia. His debut full-length studio album, “Something New”, showcases Avi Wisnia as a formidable songwriting 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 – introspective takes on complicated universal themes with clever turns of phrase – 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. 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. A new full-length studio album will be out later this year.
Avi Wisnia currently lives in the city of Philadelphia. He and his talented ensemble have shared the stage with an eclectic array of artists like The Roots, Ani DiFranco, Arturo Sandoval and Maroon 5, performing at prestigious venues around the world from The Kennedy Center in DC to The Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC, to concert tours in Japan, Poland, and Brazil. Avi is the winner of several OutMusic Awards (2009, 2010, 2012) and was named Musician of the Year by Bucks Happening Magazine (2017) and Outstanding Keyboard Player of the Year at the Montgomery-Bucks Music Awards (2013) in Pennsylvania. 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” and on ABC, NBC and NY1 TV programs. In addition to being a performing songwriter, Avi Wisnia has also given a TED Talk and performed with The Moth storytellers.
Creating community through music and giving back remains an important part of the artist’s career. Avi works with students, from pre-schools to high-schools, encouraging a new enthusiasm for music through discussions, workshops and interactive performances. 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 organizes and hosts events such as The Bent Compass Party (for LGBT artists), The House of Tribes Fundraiser (for Habitat for Humanity), and The New York Megaphonica (for the Make Music New York festival). Avi created the Philly Songwriters Circle, which brings together musicians from the Philadelphia area to share new works, and he hosts the monthly Songwriters Night concert series in Ardmore, PA. Avi can also be seen performing around the country with his grandfather, Cantor and holocaust survivor David S. Wisnia, as they share stories of their travels together and a legacy of music passed down from generation to generation.