“Think acoustic Americana with Brazilian bossa nova. Drink a caipirinha, and enjoy the sounds that originated in warmer climates.” – The L Magazine
How the son of a rabbi from Jersey went Brazilian, we’re not quite sure. Singer/Songwriter Avi Wisnia combines the classic sounds of the Brazilian Bossa Nova with pangs of soul, folk, jazz and pop to create a unique sound that is at once engagingly familiar and refreshingly new. With a versatile repertoire of well-crafted original songs, Wisnia and his talented ensemble take the Brazilian influence and make it explode in a million different directions. A wordsmith as well, Wisnia's clever lyrics pay a knowing nod to his contemporaries and offer a fresh perspective on issues facing his generation.
Growing up around Philadelphia, Avi fell in love with both banging on a piano and bossa nova, early on. After moving to New York City to try his hand at music, Wisnia quickly enlisted an eclectic roster of friends and local musicians to help him realize the stuff in his head, performing his first show in 2005. Songs are performed in both English and Portuguese, with special cameo appearances by guest vocalists, violists, brass players and percussionists. You never know who will show up at the next show.
The live shows are truly something to be experienced. Composing new arrangements, Avi Wisnia reinterprets the bossa nova classics to emerge from Brazil in the late 50's and 60's, revisiting legendary musicians such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Chico Buarque and Paulinho da Viola. Wisnia further experiments with the bossa sound by taking contemporary pop songs from artists like Lauryn Hill, Bjork, Wilco and The Cure - stripping them down, taking them apart and reviving them with a new bossa spirit.
Avi Wisnia is currently based in New York City. He has played cities up and down the East Coast, performing at such venues as Lincoln Center, The Canal Room, The Bitter End, and Makor. Avi and his band have recently won CMJ’s Zig Zag Live Competition, been named finalists in the Rolling Rock National Band Search, and received the 2007 Singer/Songwriter Awards’ honorable mention for the song “Rabbit Hole.” Avi has also opened for Lucinda Black Bear and Au Revoir Simone.
After a recent West Coast Tour, he is back to tour the East Coast, currently promoting his debut EP - Avi Wisnia Presents:. Avi also has a monthly residency at Caffe Vivaldi in New York City.
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