WATCH: 'My first exposure to Jazz revealed depths I was unfamiliar with before'

LIVE: Israeli jazz guitarist and composer Inbar Fridman in conversation with jazz journalist Yotam Ziv.

Israeli jazz guitarist and composer Inbar Fridman in conversation with jazz journalist Yotam Ziv

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“I started playing classical piano when I was six,” says jazz guitarist Inbar Fridman. “I played for seven years, but I wasn’t really into it, and I didn’t like practicing that much.” Classical music’s loss has been jazz’s gain, as Fridman became a prominent jazz musician,

In a one-on-one interview with jazz journalist and radio host Yotam Ziv, presented by the Cultural Diplomacy Bureau of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jerusalem Post, Fridman explains how she got hooked on jazz, her first album, “Time Quartet Project,” her soon-to-be-released album, and her work as a lyricist.

Credit: Mayim - Inbar Fridman

Fridman was introduced to jazz by her music teacher while in high school. When he played the music of Pat Metheny, the famed jazz guitarist and composer, she was, in her own words, “blown away.” At that time, Fridman had been playing guitar for just a few months and says, “When I heard him, I couldn’t conceive of a way to be able to play like that.” She adds that the fact that Metheny’s music was not traditional jazz made an even greater impact.

Having been exposed to jazz as a teen, Fridman knew that she was going to try to build a career in jazz, though she admits that “I didn’t know what my chances were in terms of pursuing it.” She studied at the Rimon School of Music in Ramat Hasharon before moving to New Jersey, where she continued her studies at William Paterson University.

Credit: Courtesy Inbar Fridman
Credit: Courtesy Inbar Fridman

Fridman released her debut album, “Time Quartet Project,” in 2013. A collaboration with fellow French band members, the album was recorded in a studio at the foot of the Pyrenees in the south of France. Inspired by the vast French countryside, the album was released to outstanding reviews.

In 2023, Fridman ventured into new territory with a second album consisting of lyrics she composed and performed by herself in an acoustic environment of a jazz ensemble. The album, “Shirey A-Hava,” portrays delicate and fragile songs of love’s unfolding endeavors.

Credit: Inbar Fridman with Aaron Goldberg

Fridman’s newest album, “Early Afternoons,” is a collaboration with bass player and long-time friend Shlomi Mantsur, exploring their favorite jazz standards. Both Shlomi and Inbar are Israeli-born-and-raised musicians.  

Speaking about her latest album, Fridman says, “My goal was to be as free as possible in our playing. Because we are so comfortable with each other, we took the songs we like the best that we consider the most beautiful and most expressive, pressed “record,” and saw what happened.”