Roni Kaspi (ISR)

Roni Kaspi, at just 22 years old, has been turning a lot of heads since her huge breakthrough in 2020 as the international touring drummer in the global jazz bass sensation Avishai Cohen trio. Starting on drums at 7-year-old (“I actually think the drums rather chose me, than the other way around,” she says) Roni was mentored at the prestigious Berklee conservatoire by Grammy-winning drums maestro Terri Lyne Carrington before being thrust into the spotlight last year when her Israeli compatriot Avishai Cohen hired her for his renowned trio on hearing her phenomenal drums on a video posted on Instagram. Filling the stool of drummers as influential as Mark Guiliana, besides a hectic international touring schedule, she also played a pivotal role on Shifting Sands one of Avishai’s strongest trio recordings to date, which stormed all the ‘best of’ international charts of 2022.

As incredible as that’s been (and it’s been life-changing for her), it’s just one aspect of the super-diverse and unique musical world of the Israeli-born artist as she steps into the role of drumming singer-songwriter and producer, to lead her own cutting-edge yet groovily accessible songs-and-instrumental trio project. “In the past couple of years, I’ve been working on my own music. These songs are my true musical identity,” she says. For her new trio project, Roni Kaspi has an ultra-hip, all-embracing, genre-bending vision for 2023 and beyond, daring to mix the futuristic with the traditional, funkily imaginative ‘real-time’ improv with eclectic influences from alt-pop, soul, world music and electronica – though there are far more differences than similarities, think Thundercat, Anderson Paak, Louis Cole and Bjork. “I’m inspired by literally everything from musicians, actors, creators, just people in general everywhere, all the time,” she says. “There are some musicians. Tony Williams, for me he’s just a master of the instrument and as a musical channelling tool. Miles Davis, is an example of an artist that never stopped searching for new stuff. Then David Hockney, Andy Warhol and many, many more.”

With her mesmerizingly creative, freewheeling kit-work, quirkily soulful vocal and candid lyrics, Roni is joined by a Paris-based trio featuring Oxy, an insanely inventive analogue keys/synth wiz, and Noé Berne’s silkily funk-fuelled electric bass. Youthful, indie rock and hip-hop attitude meets the sophistication of jazz in an inclusive brew for today’s naturally curious, open-minded music listener. Roni Kaspi Trio is evidence that jazz is no longer your parent’s favourite music but one of the many special ingredients on the playlist menu of any hip and informed young artist. The Roni Kaspi trio plays music that expresses the moment in which we are living.

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