Oran Etkin’s global jazz journeys and the magic of Timbalooloo

Oran Etkin's global jazz

“It’s really about connections,” Oran Etkin says. “The connections with the people that I meet in different places and creating connections between these different places.”

As you can see, Etkin is a musician who doesn’t like to create in a vacuum. The multi-reedist travels the globe in order to have one-of-a-kind musical experiences, and whether it’s to West Africa or East Asia, he always finds brilliant musicians to jam with. His curiosity and compassion has resulted in invitations to stay with renowned musical families from around the world.

Etkin stays in their home, eats with them and immerses himself in their local musical traditions. In turn, he offers his clarinet — along with ample musical chops. His talent at improvisation allows him to seamlessly blend into any musical situation, whether he’s jamming with Roma musicians in the Czech Republic or with mbira masters in Zimbabwe.

In this Jazz Night in America episode, we get to know the artist and find out what drives him to make these musical connections. We also learn about his renowned children’s program, Timbalooloo — an innovative music education method that teaches young children through instrument mimicking, fostering creativity and cultural understanding. Etkin shows how music can be a powerful learning tool — and our one true universal language understood by all ages.

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