“Rafi Malkiel is an Israeli trombonist and euphonium player with a brightly confident new Latin jazz album, My Island…" NY Times 08-17-07

Rafi Malkiel, Biography

Composer, trombonist and euphonium player Rafi Malkiel, from Israel, has delighted audiences around the world, performing with artists such as Willie Colon, Arturo O’Farrill, Ray Anderson, and with Grammy-nominated Colombian singer Toto La Momposina, and he participated in Reggie Workman’s John Coltrane Africa Brass Live project and Jason Lindner’s Big Band.

In 2003 he formed The Rafi Malkiel Ensemble, a group of virtuosi and versatile musicians living in New York City. The group plays original compositions and unique arrangements by Malkiel, fusing Jazz and Latin-American standards with Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The music is both composed as well as improvised. Rafi Malkiel has performed in many prestigious venues and has recently recorded his debut CD My Island. The CD also features some of the best Jazz and Latin musicians in New York City, including legendary tuba player Howard Johnson, bassist Andy Gonzalez, clarinetist Anat Cohen and many more.

Rafi has performed in numerous festivals around the world such as the JVC Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Summer Stage, WOMAD festivals in Greece, New Zealand, and Australia, the Sydney Festival in Australia, and the Red Sea International Jazz Festival in Israel. He has played in New York City in venues such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City, Town Hall, Symphony Space, the Carlyle Hotel with Bobby Short, Jazz Standard, Joe’s Pub, Sweet Basil, SOB’s, and Smalls.

Rafi has recorded over forty Jazz, Latin, and Rock albums with notable artists such as Ray Anderson, Salsa Picante, Toto La Momposina and Lauryn Hill.

Rafi was cited in the Recommended Jazz Trombonists list in PBS’ website Jazz, a film by Ken Burns, as well as in The Young Guns of Jazz, trumpeting the best of a new generation, by Chip Deffaa in the New York Post, July 2001.

From the Press:

“Rafi Malkiel stops in to display the remarkable mix of charts on his new self-produced disc."
Time Out New York

“Lots of great playing from Malkiel"
Chip Boaz AAJ NY

“Trombonist Rafi Malkiel soloed with loud confidence"
The NY Times

“We’re having too much fun swaying along to dreamy orchestrations and anticipating what may happen next in this world trombonist Rafi Malkiel has conjured out of thin air and musical prowess to worry about such things… Just lie on the sofa and pretend you’re in a hammock swaying in an island breeze or dancing under a star-punctured sky."
Laurell Gross. All About Jazz, August 2007

“…trombonist Rafi Malkiel soloed with loud confidence."
Ben Ratliff, New York Times May 17, 2007.

“…19 musicians are heard on Rafi's impressive debut album…but his trombone is the standout voice."
Paul Blair, Hot House. April 2007

“My Island from trombonist Rafi Malkiel came as quite a surprise for me. There's a deep knowledge of both jazz and Latin music present in the recording. Many of the songs bring a rich sense of Caribbean tradition to the recording without sounding too folk or dance tinged. Lots of great playing from Malkiel and Anat Cohen on clarinet as well."

Chip Boaz. The Latin Jazz Corner.

“…A versatile ensemble with unique instrumentation and a far-ranging repertoire that at its base never strays too far away from the Latin-related rhythms of Cuba and South America that ultimately serve as the binding element of his fresh group concept that plays music as danceable as it is listenable…[a] fantastic debut CD that will surely be a forerunner for Best Latin Jazz release come the end of 2007… it offers so much more than what is customarily expected from this generic category label."
All About Jazz NY

“Israeli trombonist-arranger Rafi Malkiel stops in to display the remarkable mix of charts on his new self-produced disc, My Island. They’re split between native sounds (son, bolero, danzon) and early jazz classics such as “Black and Tan Fantasy"", “Stardust" and “Nature Boy".
Time Out New York 8/16/07

“The Euphonium of Rafi Malkiel bridges the realms of melody and rhythm effectively…"
Edward Kane, www.Jazzreview.com 2006

“The superb Rafi Malkiel Quintet’s program of music by Jewish American composers…"
Masha Leon, The Jewish Daily Forward, 1.14.2005

“…blasting bombardino solos by Refael Malkiel"
Rock Paper Scissors 11.22.2006

“On behalf of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, I extend our warmest appreciation for your outstanding concert here. Our audience was delighted by your performance and absolutely raved about the concert."
Janet W. Solinger, Vice President, Public Programs, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC 12.4.2004

“…trombonist Rafi Malkiel soloing heatedly."
All about Jazz Dec 2005

“…el virtuoso judio del bombardino Rafi Malkiel…"
(The Jewish bombardino virtuoso Rafi Malkiel)
Gary Dominguez www.laconga.org, Folklore Urbano, Dance Chonta Records

Rafi Malkiel, prodigioso trombonista de origen israelí, nos permite comprender, a través de su nuevo trabajo My Island, que la música es un lenguaje que trasciende fronteras y nacionalidades. En su lanzamiento como líder / director de banda Malkiel nos embarca en la música de su ensamble a través de un fascinante viaje rítmico por latitudes rítmicas insospechadas para el melómano de oído delicado. My Island es un trabajo en el que, respetando de manera profunda las raíces folclóricas de los ritmos originarios, Rafi Malkiel se permite fusionar de manera casi mágica armonías tan heterogéneas como el fandango colombiano, el choro brasileño, la bomba puertorriqueña y las cubanas Mozambique, danzón–cha, son y guajira con delicados arreglos de latín jazz, género en el que Malkiel se desenvuelve brillantemente.

Recomendados: Los Tres Juanes, Nature Boy, Coballende, Choro for Anat, Guajira con trombón.
Altamente Recomendado

Diego Silva, La Conga.org 6/25/07