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Maor Cohen

He is a talented musician and an ever more talented comedian that have a significant impact on Israeli music.

Please welcome Maor Cohen...

(Photo: Ronen Fadida)

= He was born on May 1, 1974, in Sderot and grew up in Ashkelon until the age of 11 when he moved to Tel Aviv with his family.

= When he was a student at the "Urban A" high school in Tel Aviv, he founded the "Zikney Tזfat" band in 1990 together with Yoni Ben Tovim. In addition to Maor and Yoni, the lineup included Oren Lutenberg and Adiel Portugali.

= They first performed as part of an evening at Urban High School Bands at the "Roxanne" Club. Although the venue's managers took them off the stage before the end of the show to stop the crowd from keep raging, they received good reviews that week in the "News" newspaper and the "City" newspaper, which aroused the interest of the media in them.

= Maor was nicknamed the "Wonder Child of Israeli Rock" due to the background of the band's charismatic live performances as part of the then Tel Aviv alternative rock scene.

= Immediately afterward, they broke into the radio thanks to a heavy cover version, in a punk style, of the song "What do you do when you get up in the morning" by Arik Einstein and Shalom Hanoch, which was recorded at the "Penguin" club in Tel Aviv. The band received extensive media coverage and was described in the alternative rock scene as the great hope of Israeli rock.

(Photo: Vardi Cahana)

= In 1992, the band released their debut album, "Zikney Tזfat", with the help of producer Itzik Lichtenfeld, who also produced "Mashina's" performances and organized warm-up performances for "Zikney Tזfat" before these performances. Raa Mochich also participated in the ensemble, who came from the band "Balagan" and replaced Portugaly in the position of drummer. The album included, among others, "Ricky", which became a hit in the Tel Aviv alternative rock scene. Other songs that stood out were "Tzipi," "Pushing in Allenby," "Yossi (The Whore from Francisco)," "The Warthog" and "Life Is Beautiful." The album failed in sales and was ignored by radio stations, in part because of its loose lyrics and provocative themes. In 2008, at the end of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in the "Yedioth Ahronoth" newspaper, the album was chosen as one of the most important of the Israeli music of the 1990s.

= In 1994, the band released their second album, also called "Zikney Tזfat" in the musical production of guitarist Haim Romano. In the same year, Lutenberg, Mochich, and Ben-Tovim parted ways with the band, taking their place, Tom Mochich, Yuval Keiner, and Aviv Papo. In an album that included softer rock than that of the first album and was much less provocative, Cohen wrote almost all the lyrics and melodies on his own, vs the first album which did not include any of his melodies. The song "Friday Saturday (Voter's Day)" became one of the biggest hits of the decade and made the album a commercial success. "The Neighbor," "In the King's Palace" and "Just Don't Go" has also become big hits. That same year, the band members participated in the Festigal with the song "Noa in the Cinema".

= In 1995, the band, this time with Ben-Tovim who returned to the band and with the new member Guy Amir, began working on their third album. With producer and director Itzik Lichtenfeld and music producer Oved Efrat, the band recorded a lot of material that together with the material not included in the second album was enough for a double album, but the NMC label preferred to release the songs on two separate albums, in August 1995 and July 1996. The two albums, "Give Me Schlager" and "Give Me Schlager 2" were not successful. The albums continued the trend of moving away from the style of the first album.

= In August 1996, the last performance of "Zikney Tזfat" for that period took place at the "Logos" club in Tel Aviv. When in 2014 there was a reunion performance of the band at the Rhythm Festival. The show led the band members to release a new album and that same year the band's latest album "There Were Never Things" was released.

= In 1996, Maor founded the cooperative and independent supergroup "The Flies". In addition to Maor, the band included Oren Kaplan, Dan Toren, Yuval Shafrir, Peter Roth, Uri Tchelet, Amit Liron, and Jango. "The Flies" released one studio album in 1998 called "Buzz ..." with the album also featuring Yuval Keiner and Raa Mochich. Among the "The Flies" hits that Maor sings are "That's not (Carol)", "Fly Rock" and "The".

= In the same year, Maor starred in the Israeli film "Birds in Neutral".

= In 1999, Cohen's first solo album, "Good for Us Together", was released, produced by Peter Roth. The album continued the solid line of the latest albums of the "Zikney Tzfat", and included the hits "What is Known about this Day", "The most beautiful in the World", and "It's me, it's You".

= In 2000 Maor released together with Raa Mochiah the album "Toys from the old school" under the band "Tzemed Reut". The album features lyrics and vocals in a humorous submission by Cohen and is played in various genres, including psychedelic rock, blues, and electronic music. The single "Quiet Quiet Baby", in the disco style, was a success.

= In the same year, Cohen starred in the Israeli film "Something Total"

= In 2001, Maor renewed the relationship with Oren Lutenberg and the two formed the "HaBlayanim" band. In 2003 the band released their only album "Songs of Wars", here too the two made use of humorous style and electronic elements, and its two singles "Chauvinist" and "Gola Gola" were successful. Also playing on the album was "Zikney Tzfat"'s Tom Mochich, Peter Roth, and Jean-Paul Zimbris, while Barry Sakharof gave a guest appearance on the song "The Demon".

= In 2005 Maor's second solo album, "Flowers of Evil - Maor Cohen Sings Baudelaire" was released. The album features songs from Charles Baudelaire's classic poetry book, "Flowers of Evil," translated by Dori Manor and composed by Maor. The album came out in disc-book format and received mixed reviews, with some critics objecting to the solidity with which Cohen presents Baudler's scandalous songs, and some defining the album as a masterpiece very reminiscent of Arik Einstein's first albums (also in Cohen's voice). The album included the singles "The Return" and "The Blood Fountain" and was accompanied by a tour called "Cabaret from Baudelaire Songs".

= In the same year, Cohen acted in the telenovela "Telenovela Ltd.", in which he played a telenovela director who is plagued by a great tragedy.

= In 2005, Maor, together with his friends from the "Zikney Tzfat", Yuval Keiner, and Tom Mochiah the band "Israelis / Action / Sex". Here, too, humorous texts are used but this time it is combined with influences of rock from the sixties. The band released two albums, "Kings of Sex" in 2005 and "Fax Romana "in 2010.

= In 2006 Maor wrote and composed for Arik Einstein the song "Mazkeret" which was included on the album "Moments".

= That same year he participated in the Hebrew version of the comedy show "Whose Line Is This?"

= In 2007 Maor participated in the successful comedy series "Mesodarim" where he plays a clumsy character named "Berald". The series included musical tracks from Maor's projects such as "Gola Gola" and "Shir du-de-hai". The series aired for the second season in 2009. In addition, Maor played a lead role in the comedy series "Crime Animals" this year alongside Gal Zaid and Yoram Levinstein.

= In 2008 Maor joined the permanent team of "Eretz Nehederet" in its fifth season and as of 2022, he is still participating in the show.

= In 2008 Maor released a first and double compilation album called "Discgraphic". Which included songs from his solo career, as well as songs from the various ensembles in which he participated.

(Photo: Ronen Fadida)

= In 2010 the film "This is Sdom" was released in which Maor participated alongside other actors from "Erets Nehedert". In the same year, he participated in the comedy film "Half a Tone Bronze".

= In 2011, Maor was chosen to be the presenter of "Domino's Pizza Israel".

= In 2012 he wrote and participated in the comedy series "Parliament" together with some of the actors of "Eretz Nehederet".

= In 2013, Maor's third solo album "The Great Freedom" was released, also in the musical production of Peter Roth. The song "Returning to Life" from the album which was released 9 months before the album was very successful.

= In 2015, Maor released the EP "Maybe?". After years of making music with other people, Maor wanted to go on a musical trip of a mini-album and performance, and this time alone. He felt it was his little duty to the audience, to accept him one on one in front of them, for better or worse.

= In the same year, Maor participates in the "Children's Star" album of the "Boom Pam" band.

= In 2018, Maor released his fourth solo album called "A Transparent Place", in a musical production by Ofir Kenner.

= In 2021 Maor collaborates with the poet Udi Sharbani and the two released the album "As You Hear". The album consists of ten songs and four tracks, with Maor responsible for all the melodies and Udi Sharbani for all the lyrics. Among the songs on the album: is "Learning Graphology", "Long-shot for Comedy, Close-up for Tragedy", "Gentle and Short", "There are many like me, but there is nothing like me when I am with you", "Silhouettes", in the end, it got tired ".

= In 2022, Maor participated in a TV series about Aviv Geffen's life called "The Moon Years" in which he played the role of Shalom Hanoch.

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