Avi Kaplan

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Avi Kaplan
Avi Kaplan Barcelona 15.jpg
Kaplan performing with Pentatonix in Barcelona in 2015.
Born (1989-04-17) April 17, 1989 (age 29)
Other namesAvriel & the Sequoias
OccupationSinger, guitarist, songwriter
Years active2011–present
Musical career
Genres
LabelsRCA, Madison Gate
Associated actsPentatonix
Websiteavrielandthesequoias.com

Avriel Benjamin "Avi" Kaplan (born April 17, 1989) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as a past member of the a cappella group Pentatonix. He is known for his deep bass voice, and often acted as the vocal bass of Pentatonix. In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he was leaving Pentatonix following their upcoming tour.

In 2017, Kaplan debuted his solo folk music project, Avriel & the Sequoias, in which he also plays guitar. His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017; the first song, "Fields and Pier", premiered on April 29.[2] He is a three-time Grammy Award winner, as a part of Pentatonix.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Avriel Benjamin Kaplan was born in Visalia, California, where he was also raised. He has a brother and a sister, the latter being Pentatonix's tour manager as of January 2017.[5]

He is Jewish, which led to him being repeatedly bullied as a child.[6]

He loved folk music, and frequently went to the nearby Sequoia National Park, which became an inspiration for his music. He considers his earliest musical inspirations to be Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Bill Withers. Later inspirations include Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Ben Harper, and José González.[1]

Career[edit]

Before joining Pentatonix, Kaplan was already an accomplished a cappella artist, while also performing in operas and jazz.[5]

He joined Pentatonix in 2011, when original members Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying were searching for a bass singer and a beatboxer. The group met the day before the auditions for the third season of The Sing-Off began.[7] The group successfully auditioned for the show and eventually went on to win the title for 2011 (season three).[8] Kaplan acted as the group's vocal bass, but frequently sang lead parts as well.

As a member of Pentatonix, Kaplan won three Grammy awards. On February 8, 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella" category for their song "Daft Punk", a medley of songs by Daft Punk.[9] On February 15, 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their “That’s Christmas to Me” album.[10] On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Country duo/group performance" category for "Jolene", which featured Dolly Parton.[11]

On April 29, 2017, Kaplan premiered "Fields and Pier", his first song as a solo artist, under the name "Avriel & the Sequoias." His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017.[2] In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he would be leaving Pentatonix following their then upcoming tours as he had been having a hard time coping with the inability to see his friends and family when he needed to.[12]

Discography[edit]

Avriel & the Sequoias[edit]

  • Sage and Stone (EP, 2017)

Pentatonix[edit]

As a guest[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bio". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Archived from the original on 2017-04-24. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Media". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Archived from the original on 2017-04-24. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  3. ^ "Grammy Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  4. ^ "Grammy Awards 2016: See the Full Winners List". Archived from the original on 2016-11-22. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Welcome to the a Capella Revolution". Forward. February 11, 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  6. ^ ‘The Sing-Off’ winner shares his story Archived 2017-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Bentley, Jean (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing Off' winners Pentatonix on YouTube, Nick Lachey and recording an album". zap2it.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  8. ^ Gallo, Phil (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing-Off' Finale: Pentatonix Takes The Trophy". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  9. ^ "Huffington Post: "Grammy Winners List For 2015 Includes Sam Smith, Pharrell, Beyoncé & More"". Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  10. ^ "Pentatonix Just Scored Their Second Grammy In a Row!". Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  11. ^ "Dolly Parton and Pentatonix win country duo/roup performance award for 'Jolene'". Archived from the original on 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  12. ^ Nyren, Erin (May 12, 2017). "Avi Kaplan Exits Pentatonix in Tearful Goodbye Video". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "Home Free Cover Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' A Capella With Pentatonix's Avi Kaplan [VIDEO]". Pop Crush. July 24, 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-06-02. Retrieved April 30, 2017.

External links[edit]