Musician Anat Cohen with her clarinet Musician Anat Cohen with her clarinet Musician Anat Cohen has been playing clarinet all her life. (Photo: Anat Cohen)

4 Israelis hope for big night at Grammy Awards this Sunday

For all of them, this will not be their first trip to music's biggest celebration.

Four Israelis are nominated for awards at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards this Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The highest profile of the bunch are music video directors Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia, and their producing partner Natan Schottenfels. All have previously been nominated for Grammys for their work with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Coldplay. This year, the trio were nominated for their "Glad He's Gone" video for Swedish singer-songwriter Tove Lo.

"I think this might be the best video I've ever done," Lo told Rolling Stone in a statement about the moody masterpiece. "It tells the story of the song so well while being a bizarre mini action movie. I loved working with the directors Vania & Muggia, who came up with this genius idea. The four-day-and-night shoot in Kiev was very intense but with the best and most hard working crew! If anything, it made me realize how much I love acting (and that I'm a real committed friend haha)."

The Jerusalem-born Heymann, a graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel, broke out in 2013 when he made international headlines for his interactive video of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Time magazine named it the music video of the year.

The fourth Israeli with a Grammy nomination was clarinet virtuoso Anat Cohen for her album "Triple Helix." It was nominated in the Best Jazz Ensemble Album category. This will not be Cohen's first trip to music's biggest celebration. She was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2017 – Best World Music Album and Best Latin Jazz Album.

When we interviewed Cohen in her Williamsburg apartment, she told us that it was her brothers who first got her interested in the clarinet.

"They have bands and basically they needed clarinet players, so they encouraged me to pick up the clarinet. So I went with the flow," she said. "I felt that I really connected with the instrument. You really get to express yourself."

Cohen, who attended Israel's conservatory at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Music Center, has found ways to make the clarinet seem new. She likes mixing genres; her Brazilian music has a distinct Dixieland flair.

"I like to call it the father of samba and the grandfather of bossa nova. You can define it as Brazilian ragtime," Cohen said. "It gives you a feeling of joy, although the word 'choro' means 'cry.' But it’s music that in a way is very casual. It was formed around a table sitting in a circle, having beers, and just playing those songs and passing it as an oral tradition. Yet when you try to play it and bring it to stage, it takes so much concentration. It’s so hard to play, because there’s so many notes."

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast on CBS on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST.

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4 Israelis hope for big night at Grammy Awards this Sunday
For Vania Heymann, Gal Muggia, Natan Schottenfels and Anat Cohen, this will not be their first trip to music's biggest celebration.