Ofri Nehemya

Israeli jazz drummer Ofri Nehemya, a child prodigy, started playing with some of his home country's leading jazz names while still in high school, going on to record with the likes of Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, and Shai Maestro.

Nehemya was born in 1994 in Givatayim, Israel into a musical family, his father a drummer and his mother a singer. He started playing drums at age three and quickly distinguished himself as a prodigy. Taught by his father for four years from the age of eight, he then studied piano for three years before attending the Thelma-Yellin High School for the Performing Arts, the same alma mater as pianist Shai Maestro, with whom he would later go on to play. While still in high school, he was already playing with some of Israel's leading jazz names, such as Amos Hoffman, Omri Mor, and saxophonist Eli Degibri, whose quartet he joined at the age of just 17, playing on the albums Twelve and Cliff Hangin'. Two years later, while studying at Berklee -- to which he had won a full scholarship -- he started touring with bassist Avishai Cohen, playing on his album Almah. He also appeared on albums by guitarist Shachar Elnatan and bassist Omer Avital. In 2018, he joined pianist Shai Maestro's trio for its ECM debut The Dream Thief, replacing Ziv Ravitz.



Senior Member
Cool! I got turned onto Ofri on a flight to Hong Kong, where the seatback entertainment system had Omer Avital's Abutbul Music in its jazz collection. I bought the album while still on my trip, and when I got home I looked up the drummer and found this. He's a great drummer, and I really like this tune.