There are only a handful of musicians who move and excite me otherwise they are mostly meh. I hadn’t really been able to truly dig music since the ’80s (with few exceptions).
Until nearly five years ago (2014) when I stumbled across Pentatonix’s Christmas video, The Little Drummer Boy, on You Tube. Two vocalists in particular stood out to me: Kirstin Maldonado and Avi Kaplan. I especially loved Avi’s booming bass voice. I was very sad when he announced in early 2017 that he was leaving Pentatonix to pursue his own music as well as to spend more time with his family.
It’s been a joy watching him grow and mature as a musician striving to find his own path. And boy, with his latest song, I believe he has finally arrived. But, in order to truly appreciate his latest music, you really need to revisit his past music, and then as you listen to the Change On the Rise, you will truly understand why his fans are so excited and wowed and stunned!
Avi was born and grew up in Visalia, California, a city in the San Joaquin Valley. Being Jewish, he was subjected to ridicules and bullying as a kid. Having grown up near the Sequoia National Park, nature greatly influenced his music.
In the video below, you will hear the story of how Pentatonix and Avi came together to compete on a television show (Sing Off) that would change their lives forever.
The video below was where I first discovered Avi (in 2014).
The song below won Pentatonix their first Grammy.
Below was Avi’s final performance with Pentatonix.
Avi loved Folk music so naturally the music in his debut album fell in that genre. The song below is my favorite.
First solo album (Sage & Stone) released in June 2017-Avi & the Sequoias
I believe sometime in 2017, he moved to Tennessee to live in a cabin deep in the forest outside of Nashville. Here he would spend his quiet days writing and playing songs. Every once in a while a video surfaced of him. Otherwise, he basically took a sabbatical in order to delve into his own music away from the chaotic world.
And then this! This music video premiered on You Tube on the said date below. For those who closely followed Avi and his music, well, this was a real treat. We’ve listened to the kind of music he sang in the past, and this…this was NOT what we expected. Far, far from it! We were speechless and so incredibly moved to tears. Yes, Avi is finally coming into his own. And I expect him to continue to surprise and shock us with his talent in songwriting and singing. Oh, did I mention that voice? Simply put…there is no other like it.
March 22, 2019
Avi’s official website
His You Tube channel