Avi Granite - Guitarist - Composer - Improviser - Educator - Artist -


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Short Bio:

Avi Granite is a guitarist and composer of questionable pedigree and curious intent. Best known for his ferocious improvisational sextet AG:6 based in Toronto, Granite calls Brooklyn home where his latest work is performed by his NYC based quartet Verse and experimental project Graphic Tongue. Avi's music has been synced to feature film and TV while he works on the occasional indie project. Granite has performed around the globe and studied with some of the best best musicians in the world including Joe Lovano, John Scofield and Chris Potter. As a composer he has been commissioned by play-writes and string quartets. Honored as guest lecturer at several universities Granite has developed creative workshops for corporate education while concurrently illuminating students as young as 3 years of age. He is sole proprietor of boutique record label Pet Mantis Records.

   
 

 

 

 


Long Bio:

Avi Granite is a Canadian-born guitarist, composer, and sole proprietor of boutique record label Pet Mantis Records. He makes his home in Brooklyn New York. His most recent work, "Snow Umbrellas," is an album of new compositions performed by Avi Granite's Verse, a New York quartet featuring Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Jerry DeVore on bass and Owen Howard on drums. Snow Umbrellas was inspired by Granite's move to New York in 2009, where he pursued a masters at New York University. During his time at NYU, he had the pleasure of studying with Brad Shepik, John Scofield, Tony Moreno, Chris Potter and Joe Lovano. Concurrently, Granite established another New York-based project entitled Avi Granite’s Graphic Tongue, a further exploration of his graphical composition method developed at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Graphic Tongue is an ensemble designed to perform this specific body of work and features Michael Attias on saxophone, Evan Crane on bass and Tiffany Chang on drums. A release event is in the works for the forthcoming recording of Graphic Tongue due out Fall 2014.

While still in Toronto Granite formed the AG:6. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the AG:6 spent two days at Pucks Farm recording what would become Granite’s second release as a leader, “Avi Granite:6 - Red Tree” (PMR). Featuring all new compositions, “Red Tree” garnered high praise from several media outlets, including a four star review in Downbeat Magazine and inclusion in the publication’s top CDs of 2008. The subsequent AG:6 tour included a performance at the 2008 Montreal International Jazz Festival as part of the Rising Stars series. Granite, along with AG:6 bass player Neal Davis, traveled to Europe in the winter of 2008, with stops in Switzerland to perform with Christoph Grab and Marius Peyer as well as Kevin Brow and Jacob Denisen in Denmark.

In 2006, Avi Granite:5, a self-titled CD, was released as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. This marked Granite’s first album release as a leader performing his own compositions. The group toured regionally and eventually expanded to a six-piece ensemble. In December of 2006, Granite was granted a composition residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts during which he composed 9 pieces for an 11-piece band. While on this residency, the beginnings of Granite’s graphical explorations of composition was born. Granite conceived “Inside,” a composition that encourages and fosters improvisation from any musician, regardless of their style. The piece has been performed by musicians of many traditions, including The Yves Ensemble of Holland and The Motion Ensemble of Canada.

Granite began life in Toronto, Ontario, studying classical guitar and piano at a young age. Though Granite abandoned these traditions by age 10, the music continued forward. After exploring visual art and other expressive mediums, Granite’s focus returned to music by age 18. He attended Humber College and graduated from the Jazz Studies bachelor program where he had the opportunity to study with Pat LaBarbera, Don Thompson, Ted Quinlan and many other esteemed members of the Canadian jazz community.

Around that time, Granite established Pet Mantis Records, an independent record label dedicated to the release and promotion of improvisation-based music. “Nautilus Improvised Organic Breaks: Three Cuts In London” was the first CD released on PMR, an improvising guitar trio focused on groove and beats made popular in Jungle and Drum ‘n Bass music of the day. A year prior to recording together, Granite met Nautilus bassist Scott Peterson while attending the Banff Jazz Workshop, where Granite studied and performed with the likes of Dave Douglas, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Jim Black among others.