Omer Ashano’s musical influences are as diverse as his background, growing up in different places from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to cities in Israel. His travels to Europe, North America and Asia, allowed him to meet people and constantly be engaged with a variety of cultural inspirations and local communities. His eclectic musical identity is shaped by this life long experience, which holds traces of Israeli, African-American, Classical and folk music from Africa, Romania and India.
Ashano started playing the violin at the age of six. Later, at 13, he took up the guitar. His guitar teachers introduced him to Blues, Rock n’ Roll and Jazz, as well as the ideas and possibilities of improvisation. This exposure led Omer to experiment this new acquired knowledge, adapting it to the violin.
Ever since, Ashano has deepened his knowledge and passion for improvisation in jazz and other genres of music. In addition to classic and jazz, he immersed himself in Indian music while learning to play the Sitar and the Tabla. His talent has already been awarded by internationally-recognized institutions, among them the America-Israel Cultural Foundation: In 2014, he received the grant for outstanding jazz performers.
In 2016 Ashano moved to New York City to complete his academic studies at The New School for Jazz, and to pursue his musical career. He quickly got involved with the local jazz community, becoming a renowned violinist in the NYC music scene. He is also an acclaimed composer and musical producer.
Ashano continues to record and perform internationally with Israeli folk/rock band OSOG, and with other bands and artists in the Jazz, Rock, Folk and World Music scenes.
2019 marked a fruitful year in his career. In March, OSOG was chosen to perform in several official showcases: SXSW conference in Austin, TX, as part of a month long East-coast tour. In April, guitarist Dennis Pol’s album “New York City”, in which Omer played a lead part, was published by the prestigious Norwegian gypsy jazz label “Hot Club Records”. Following that release, NYC-based singer-songwriter Ryan Luce released his debut EP “California Gold” with Ashano featured on two tracks in the album. In May, Ashano released his own live debut EP “Alive In New York” featuring his quartet playing Ashano’s original compositions and arrangements, receiving positive reviews and public attention. This year he also served as film composer and musical editor for the silent film “Hannah Can You Hear Me,” which won the AFI World Peace Initiative Cannes Award for “Best Arts Film”.
Currently Omer is collaborating with various NYC-based and international artists to initiate an original project, influenced primarily on Zimbabwean music, which combines guitar styles from West and Central Africa into Omer’s original compositions.
Sources: America-Israel Cultural Foundation