Oran Etkin

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Oran Etkin
Origin New York, New York, United States
Genres Children's, world, independent, jazz, folk
Instruments Singing, clarinet, saxophone, drums, piano, trombone, bass
Labels Timbalooloo (Motema Music /Allegro-NewSound) (ASCAP)
Website http://www.oranetkin.com/

Oran Etkin is an internationally acclaimed jazz/world artist and composer who is known for giving music classes for children in New York City. He recently released Wake Up Clarinet!, his first release in the genre of family music. In 2010 he formed a new music education program called Timbalooloo.[1]

Oran Etkin has been described as a "great clarinet player" and "an excellent improviser" by the New York Times' jazz critic Ben Ratliff [2] and a "woodwind maestro" by PRI's internationally syndicated show, Afropop Worldwide.[3] He has performed around the world with musicians ranging from jazz guitarist Mike Stern to rapper Wyclef Jean. His 2009 album Kelenia (Motema Music), fuses traditional Malian and Jewish music with modern jazz creating what the Boston Globe dubbed a "hypnotic balance between straight-ahead jazz and world music.[4] The album was named "Best World Music Album of 2009" by the Independent Music Awards.[5]

Etkin brings this uniquely diverse perspective to his music for children, which incorporates rhythms and melodies from all over the world. For example, after concert tours in Haiti, Africa and Europe, Etkin returned to New York and adapted songs from these regions for his Timbalooloo music classes.[6]

Etkin has earned the respect of his peers through his various musical activities. Ken Burns and Julie Burns remarked that they were "very happy to see how Oran Etkin's Timbalooloo classes awakened an excitement about music in our daughter, enabling her to be creative and express herself through music." According to Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, "His ability to teach children...and keep them fully engaged and willing to learn was really really remarkable." And Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner Keitel stated that "Oran Etkin makes music from all over the world accessible and fun for children to listen to and learn about. From the age of two, our son was talking about Herbie Hancock, Mozart, Samba, and African music - and he knew the difference." [7][8] In January, 2011, Wake Up, Clarinet! won in the Children's Music Album category in The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.[9] Etkin received a Grammy nomination for his song "Unique Monique" which appears on Healthy Food for Thought, nominated for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.[10]


At age 14, Etkin began his musical studies in Boston with the saxophone under the tutelage of George Garzone.[11] He expanded to the clarinet and completed a bachelor's degree in classical clarinet and composition from Brandeis University.[12] He spent one year of that at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, where he studied Arabic music. He got his master's degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he was taught by Dave Liebman and David Krakauer. He continued to study jazz with Garzone and Charlie Banacos during this period. His exposure to Malian music is also a significant influence, having played in Mali with Toumani Diabaté, Super Rail Band, and Habibe Koité.[13]


  • Wake Up Clarinet! (Motéma Music, 2010)
  • Kelenia (Motéma Music, 2009)


  1. ^ http://www.tribecatrib.com/content/kids-music-oran-etkin%E2%80%99s-timbalooloo
  2. ^ "The Checkout: June 30, 2009". WBGO 88.3 FM. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Group Kelenia". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  4. ^ "Pop music picks". Boston Globe. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  5. ^ http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=71679
  6. ^ "Bio". oranetkin.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  7. ^ "Bio". oranetkin.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  8. ^ "What Parents and The Press Are Saying About Oran Etkin’s Timbalooloo". oranetkin.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  9. ^ http://www.independentmusicawards.com/ima/artist/oran-etkin-2
  10. ^ http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=71679
  11. ^ http://www.motagator.net/Oran_Etkin/info.php
  12. ^ "Oran Etkin '01 receives a world of praise for his music." Brandeis Now, July 9, 2009. http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2009/july/oranetkin.html
  13. ^ Hendrickson, Tad. "Sounds of the City preview: Oran Etkin adapts clarinet and sax to Malian traditions." The Star-Ledger, July 1, 2011. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2011/07/sounds_of_the_city_preview_ora.html

Band members[edit]

  • Oran Etkin - lead vocals, clarinet, saxophone
  • Jason Marsalis - drums
  • Charenee Wade - jazz vocalist
  • Fabian Almazan - piano
  • Curtis Fowlkes - trombone
  • Garth Stevenson - bass

External links[edit]