Columbia University in the City of New York

Jazz Artist-in-Residence

Anat Cohen (photo courtesy of Shervin Lainez)

At the intersection of music and the mind

Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute is committed to creating a dynamic and exciting environment for the exploration of the mind and brain. Advances in a field as wide as brain science necessitate an approach that transcends disciplines and boundaries. To foster a connection between music and sciences, Columbia's Zuckerman Institute established the Jazz Artist-in-Residence program in 2019. This program sponsors musical artists for a period of engagement, inspiration and discovery at the Institute.

The 2023-2024 Jazz Artist-in-Residence at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute is jazz clarinetist Anat Cohen.



About Anat Cohen 


Ever charismatic, prolific and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. The New York Times writes, “Ms. Cohen on the clarinet was a revelation. Using the clarinet’s upper register, she could evoke infectious joy. In the lower register, her playing could conjure a deep, soulful melancholy. On up-tempo numbers, her improvisations weren’t just bebop fast; they had a clarity and deep intelligence that is really quite rare. She made it look effortless, even as she was playing the most technically difficult of all the reed instruments… she took my breath away.”


Anat has been declared Clarinetist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association every year since 2007 and has also been named the top clarinetist in both the readers and critics polls in DownBeat for multiple years running. That’s not to mention years of being named Rising Star in the soprano and tenor saxophone categories in DownBeat, as well as Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2009, ASCAP awarded Anat a Wall of Fame prize for composition and musicianship, among other honors. As The Chicago Tribune has said about Anat, “The lyric beauty of her tone, easy fluidity of her technique and extroverted manner of her delivery make this music accessible to all.


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Anat Cohen's residency is hosted by Michael Shadlen, MD, PhD, professor of neuroscience and principal investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, with support from Chris Washburne, PhD, professor of music at Columbia University.

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Videos featuring Jazz Artists-in-Residence

Inside the Jazz Lab at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute

As the first jazz artist-in-residence at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, Helen Sung spent months connecting with researchers about topics ranging from learning and memory to taste and smell. This video takes a look at how the experience inspired her, and how she inspired our scientific community: from hosting listening parties to investigate how people hear jazz, to playing for people with dementia and their caregivers.