Saxophonist Ori Kaplan was born in Israel in 1969, and moved to the U.S. in 1991. After finishing his degree in 1996, Kaplan dove into the New York City downtown scene, forming his Trio Plus with Geoff Mann on drums, and Tom Abbs on bass and tuba. The following year, Kaplan began working with William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and other avant-jazz notables like Alan Silva and Karen Borca. In 1998, he formed the Ori Kaplan Percussion Ensemble with Mann on drums and mandolin, Susie Ibarra on drums and percussion, and Andrew Bemkey on piano. Starting in 1999, the Trio Plus was augmented by Steve Swell on trombone. Kaplan also leads the Ori Kaplan Shaat'nez Band, which has Tamir Muskat on drums and percussion, and Marcus Rojas on tuba, along with Bemkey and Mann.
In addition to his groups as a leader, Kaplan has performed and/or recorded with the Pink Noise Sax Quartet, the Vision Orchestra, the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, Roy Campbell, and rock bands Speedball Baby and Big Lazy. He is also a member of indie rock/worldbeat band Firewater and the Eastern European gypsy cabaret band Gogol Bordello. ~ Sean Westergaard, Rovi