Born in Jerusalem and raised in Buenos-Aires and Tel-Aviv, bassist, composer and bandleader, and first-call sideman for the likes of Ari Hoenig, Jean-Michel Pilc, Leon Parker, Aaron Goldberg, Sam Yahel, Yotam Silberstein, Camila Meza, Dida Pelled, Nitai Hershkovits, Cyrille Aimee and many others, Or Bareket has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after bassists on the NYC scene. Winner of the 1st prize at the International Society of Bassists' jazz competition in 2011, Bareket's multiculturalism informs his unmistakable sound.
Bareket's approach to improvisation and composition, magnificently displayed on his debut album, OB1, is informed by Mediterranean, South American and North African folklores, all interpreted through his deep knowledge and appreciation of the American Jazz tradition. However these traditions took time to connect and conspire. Bareket found a missing part of his musical DNA in 2014, when he embarked on his first trip back to Buenos Aires as an adult, to perform at The Buenos Aires Jazz Festival. Bareket explains, "for me, that experience of being in Buenos Aires affirmed and brought to light the source of a lot of my musical choices - rhythmically, melodically and texturally - aesthetics that I felt attracted to but didn't know their origin, so I just chalked them up as being idiosyncratic. Being in Buenos Aires caused me to realized where they had come from and it was a very strong affirmation of my musical instincts and intuition. This opened up a process through which I could just write - for the first time in my life I could just let the music come out and just let it be what it is. Amazingly, after I had a body of work ready to go, the band pretty much presented itself." The result is the compelling music on his debut recording, OB1.
The process of writing OB1 started with the realization for Bareket that as an artist you can create your own folklore, tell your own story, with whatever life puts at your disposal. After years of playing as a sideman with many of his musical heroes and mentors, he felt that it was time to start developing his own musical world, where he feels perfectly at home, and all of his intuitiveness as a bassist are in alignment with the way the music is written.
Bareket elaborates, "throughout 2014-2015 I started collecting musical ideas from different parts of my life- daydreams, emotions too subtle or ambiguous for words, folkloric rhythms and forms from my grandparents' homelands of Morocco, Iraq, Israel and Argentina. I let those ideas grow into songs and gradually started playing them with my friends and peers. I finally decided to record this music when I found the right band for it - Shahar Elnatan-guitar, Gadi Lehavi-piano and Ziv Ravitz-drums/mixing & mastering, had the perfect sensibility for my compositions-they are all deeply intuitive and soulful musicians. Beyond their ability to resonate with the way I hear rhythm and harmony and bring my ideas to life, they also added new colors and dimensions to the music-ones I couldn't have imagined when I wrote it. The same goes for the special guests on the recording, Keita Ogawa-percussion and Victor Gonçalves-accordion."
Music has always been a physical, primal experience for Bareket, more than an intellectual or even an emotional one. Growing up between different places, and with a mixed cultural heritage, the bassist/composer has become comfortable moving, adapting to new situations and flowing with the changes life brings. "I have never really felt completely at home anywhere, never had a distinct sense of what my own roots are. The only place where I always felt a complete sense of belonging was while being immersed in music, or more specifically, in rhythm. First as a child listening and later as a musician performing. That moment of being fully present, connected, vibrant and still at the same time, is where I feel most at home. The music on this album, OB1, comes from this place, and was written with the intention of sharing it with the performers and listeners," Or Bareket.
Bareket started playing the electric bass at age 16 after hearing Jaco Pastorius. At 18 he took up the double bass and began studying with Teddy Kling (principal bass at the Israeli philharmonic), and later with Professor Michael Klinghoffer (former assistant to maestro Gary Karr). Simultaneously Bareket began working extensively on the Israel jazz scene and studying with bassist Avishai Cohen, among others. Bareket was the winner of the 1st prize at the International Society of Bassists' jazz competition in 2011
Since moving to New York, Bareket has performed, recorded, and toured with a wide array of artists all over the world. Notable names include Ari Hoenig, Jean-Michel Pilc, Leon Parker, Aaron Goldberg, Sam Yahel, Yotam Silberstein, Camila Meza, Dida Pelled, Nitai Hershkovits and Cyrille Aimee. He has also worked with Gilad Hekselman, Peter Bernstein, Hamilton De Holanda, Banda Magda, Eli Degibri, Chris Potter, Mike Moreno, Billy Hart, Victor Lewis, Don Friedman, Elliot Zigmund and others.
Or is a multiple-time recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship for outstanding performers and the Eubie Blake Fellowship. He has participated in Betty Carter's "Jazz Ahead" at the Kennedy center, The Steans Institute Ravinia Workshop, and the Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music.
This album is dedicated to my father, Ofer Bareket (1954-2016) - thank you for raising me to be the man and the musician I am, and for teaching me that only a broken heart can be an open heart - Or Bareket, New York City, 2017.