Avishai Cohen was born in 1970 in Israel to a musical family. As a child he began learning piano, but switched to electric bass guitar after discovering the legendary Jaco Pastorius. When he set off from Tel Aviv to conquer the world after two years of service in the army band, New York was a logical first destination. But the young Israeli had a difficult first year, at times even working in construction to make ends meet. Then came the Latin bands. A child of the Middle East, already well acquainted with a typical rhythm sections, Cohen could soon be found playing alongside Panamanian artist Danilo Perez on the Latin borders of today’s jazz.
It was around this time that he formed his first group, an orchestra with multiple influences that found an admirer in a certain Chick Corea, who soon offered him a record deal under his own label Stretch as well as the bass chair in his new group.