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Avriel Benjamin "Avi" Kaplan (born April 17, 1989) is an American singer and songwriter, best known as a past member of the a cappella group Pentatonix. He is known for his deep bass voice, and often acted as the vocal bass of Pentatonix. In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he was leaving Pentatonix following their upcoming tour.

Avi Kaplan
Avi Kaplan St Louis 2019 by Paige Butler.jpeg
Kaplan performing at The Ready Room in St._Louis on August 19, 2019. Photo by Paige Butler.
Born (1989-04-17) April 17, 1989 (age 30)
Other namesAvriel & the Sequoias
OccupationSinger, guitarist, songwriter
Years active2011–present
Musical career
Genres
LabelsRCA, Madison Gate
Associated actsPentatonix
Websitewww.avikaplanofficial.com

In 2017, Kaplan debuted his solo folk music project, Avriel & the Sequoias, in which he also plays guitar. His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017; the first song, "Fields and Pier," premiered on April 29.[2][3] On March 22, 2019, he premiered a new song, "Change on the Rise," this time under the name Avi Kaplan.[4]

He is a three-time Grammy Award winner, as a part of Pentatonix.[5][6]

Early lifeEdit

Avriel Benjamin Kaplan was born in Visalia, California, where he was also raised. He has a brother and a sister, the latter being Pentatonix's tour manager as of January 2017.[7]

He is Jewish, which often led to repeated bullying as a child.[8]

He loved folk music, and frequently went to the nearby Sequoia National Park, which became an inspiration for his music. He considers his earliest musical inspirations to be Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Bill Withers. Later inspirations include Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Ben Harper, and José González.[1]

CareerEdit

Before joining Pentatonix, Kaplan was already an accomplished a cappella artist, while also performing in operas and jazz.[7]

He joined Pentatonix in 2011, when original members Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying were searching for a bass singer and a beatboxer. The group met the day before the auditions for the third season of The Sing-Off began.[9] The group successfully auditioned for the show and eventually went on to win the title for 2011 (season three).[10] Kaplan acted as the group's vocal bass, but frequently sang lead parts as well.

As a member of Pentatonix, Kaplan won three Grammy awards. On February 8, 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella" category for their song "Daft Punk," a medley of songs by Daft Punk.[11] On February 15, 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for their rendition of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their That's Christmas to Me album.[12] On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Country duo/group performance" category for their cover of "Jolene," which featured Dolly Parton.[13]

On April 29, 2017, Kaplan premiered "Fields and Pier," his first song as a solo artist, under the name "Avriel & the Sequoias."[2] In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he would be leaving Pentatonix to spend more time with friends and family.[14] His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017.[2]

DiscographyEdit

Avriel & the SequoiasEdit

  • Sage and Stone (EP, 2017)

Solo WorkEdit

  • Change on the Rise (single, 2019)
  • Otherside (single, 2019)
  • The Summit (single, 2019)
  • Aberdeen (single, 2019)
  • Get Down (single, 2019)

PentatonixEdit

As a guestEdit

CameoEdit

  • Home Free - "Champagne taste on a beer budget"

ToursEdit

Avi Kaplan embarked on his first solo live shows with 'Nashville Residency' at The Basement in Nashville, TN. It was a series of 5 shows over the course of 3 weeks in April 2019. All 5 shows were sold out.[16] He was accompanied by Daniel Ellsworth (piano/vocals), Jeremy Lister (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Lister (drums/vocals) and Kaleb Thomas Jones (bass guitar/vocals). The Lister brothers and Jones are also members of Street Corner Symphony.

In July 2019, Kaplan began the Otherside Tour which took him to California, Washington State, Oregon. The tour continued in August 2019 going to New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.[17] Daniel Ellsworth played an opening set at the Troubour, LA on July 10, 2019[18] and at the Aladdin Theater, OR on July 15, 2019.

In October 2019, tickets went on sale for Kaplan's upcoming European Tour, which will begin in January 2020. Tour dates have been announced for the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and the UK, with more dates to come.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Bio". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Archived from the original on 2017-04-24. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Media". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Archived from the original on 2017-04-24. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  3. ^ "Avi Kaplan - Fields and Pier (Official Video)". YouTube. April 29, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Avi Kaplan - Change on the Rise (Official Video)". YouTube. March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "Grammy Awards Winners". Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "Grammy Awards 2016: See the Full Winners List". Archived from the original on 2016-11-22. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Welcome to the a Capella Revolution". Forward. February 11, 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  8. ^ ‘The Sing-Off’ winner shares his story Archived 2017-06-10 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Bentley, Jean (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing Off' winners Pentatonix on YouTube, Nick Lachey and recording an album". zap2it.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Gallo, Phil (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing-Off' Finale: Pentatonix Takes The Trophy". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  11. ^ "Huffington Post: "Grammy Winners List For 2015 Includes Sam Smith, Pharrell, Beyoncé & More"". Archived from the original on 2015-02-09. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  12. ^ "Pentatonix Just Scored Their Second Grammy In a Row!". Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  13. ^ "Dolly Parton and Pentatonix win country duo/roup performance award for 'Jolene'". Archived from the original on 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  14. ^ Nyren, Erin (May 12, 2017). "Avi Kaplan Exits Pentatonix in Tearful Goodbye Video". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 2017-05-15. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "Home Free Cover Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire' A Capella With Pentatonix's Avi Kaplan [VIDEO]". Pop Crush. July 24, 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-06-02. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  16. ^ "Avi Kaplan's "Nashville Residency" at The Basement in Nashville, TN". March 2, 2019. Archived from the original on July 14, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  17. ^ "Avi Kaplan's "Otherside Tour"". April 22, 2019. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "Avi Kaplan at the Troubadour, LA". June 21, 2019. Archived from the original on July 14, 2019. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  19. ^ "Avi Kaplan's "European Tour"". October 4, 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-10-09. Retrieved October 4, 2019.

External linksEdit