In the last decade in NYC, Ori recorded 5 releases as a leader for NY's premier downtown new music labels while playing with some of
the best NYC bands as a collaborator. Kaplan received the Jerome award for Young Jazz Composers 2001. He joined the acclaimed band Gogol Bordello. Self described
as Gypsy Punk Cabaret, Gogol has spearheaded the Eastern European cultural revolution taking place in NYC . He plays with Firewater since '98.The band is led by
ex Cop Shoot Cop front man Tod A. He has also collaborated and recorded with: Susie Ibarra KFW(284) (Kaplan/Ibarra featured at the Whitney Museum Soundcheck
series) Speedball Baby, Big Lazy, J.U.F., Victoria Hanna, John Zorn, Vision Orchestra, William Parker, and many others. He formed his Shaat'nez Band joined
with Andrew Bemkey, Geoff Mann, Adam Roberts , Marcus Rojas on Tuba and Tamir Muskat (Big Lazy) on Drums. The band explores Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Gypsy
traditions through a contemporary looking glass (Le Magus - Knitting Factory Works 307 KFW). the Shaat'nez evolved into the more electric Shot'nez - a
collective with Stephen Ulrich (guitar) and Tamir Muskat - drums (both of Big Lazy) and Itamar Ziegler- Bass - Shot'nez' singular sound of film noire, Middle
Eastern and southern blues has been described as "one foot in the swamp and the other in the desert" "an amazing sonic experience".
In a duo collaboration with Tamir Muskat Called Balkan Beat Box, Muskat and
Kaplan dig into the new fresh possibilities of electronic music mixed with hard core folk music from north Africa, Middle East and the Balkans.
They collaborate with great talents from these countries in an ever expanding creative exchange. Kaplan performs with the above projects around
the world constantly in the last decade.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel at age 11 Ori was exposed to the
clarinet teaching of kleizmer and classical teachers in Jaffa. Instead, he chose to play with DXM, a
sampler driven underground Tel Aviv band. Kaplan immigrated to the US in 1991. After completing his Mannes
College (NYC) BFA degree In 1996 he formed his "Trio Plus" with Tom Abbs on tuba and bass and Geoff Mann
on drums and began developing his skills as a composer and band leader and maturing into his own personal
voice on the saxophone. Later in 1999, Kaplan formed a quartet with the members of Trio Plus with the
addition of Steve Swell on trombone. In 1997, he also joined William Parker's Little Huey Orchestra and a
number of other avant jazz projects related to the Knitting Factory and the Vision Festival (with Karen
Borca, Alan Silva, Visions Orchestra). He maintains involvement with Jump Arts, voted "Best Arts Collective"
by the New York Press 2000 and plays in festivals including Vision Fest, Texaco Fest, Bell Atlantic Fest and
European venues and festivals.
He joined the rock band Firewater in 1998 and toured the U.S. and Europe. During the same time period, he formed his own "Ori Kaplan
Percussion Ensemble" with Susie Ibarra and Geoff Mann on percussion and Andrew Bemkey (most notably of Reggie
Workman's band) on piano. Drawing from Middle Eastern, Asian and southern U.S. aesthetics, this ensemble's
varying cultural influences infuse the music with fresh dialogue and innovative improvisation.
Balkan Beat Box-self titiled - Essay Recordings, Jdub Records
JUF (Gogol Bordello VS. Tamir Muskat) - Stinky Records
Man on the Burning Tightrope - Firewater Jetset Records
Multi Kontra Culti - Gogol Bordello Rubric Records
Le Magus - Ori Kaplan Shaat'nez Band - KFW 307
William Parker's Little Huey - Mayor Of Punkville - AUM Fidelity
Realms - Ori Kaplan Trio Plus - CIMP
Cries of Disillusion - Kaplan with Assif Tsahar, Daniel Sarid, Bob Meyer, Oded
Goldshmidt - Third Ear Records
Delirium - Ori Kaplan 4tet (Trio Plus Steve Swell)- CIMP
Gongol - Ori Kaplan Percussion Ensemble with Susie Ibarra - KFW 284