Raviv Markovitz is one of the most sought-after bassists on the NY jazz scene, performing across the U.S. and internationally with many of jazz’s leading artists and as leader of his own ensembles. He has been recorded on over 20 albums.
As a youngster, Raviv started out on piano; he switched to bass in fifth grade, thinking that “you could learn three notes and play in a rock band maybe.” Looking back now, Raviv says the bass is “actually one of the hardest instruments” to master. Originally from Lexington, Mass., Raviv did the “circuit” of music and jazz camps while in high school there – one of which was the Vail Jazz Workshop, which he described as “one of the most formative things I’ve ever done, for sure.”
While attending Columbia University, he played music almost nightly, and has resided in NY ever since. In 2009, Raviv was one of 15 semifinalists worldwide in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition and, two years later, took third place in the International Society of Bassists Jazz Bass Competition. He has served on the faculty of several jazz workshops – including Swing Central Jazz in Savannah, under the direction of jazz pianist Marcus Roberts. He has also taught extensively through the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People” program. His debut album as a leader, Pulse, with his quintet, will be released in summer 2020.
Video previews from the soon-to-be released Pulse:
LATEST ALBUM RELEASE:
Pulse, the Raviv Markovitz Quintet – Raviv’s debut album as a leader – projected for release in August 2020.
Rhapsodize (Twelve Tone Records, February 2020), trio album by pianist Eldar Djangirov joined by Raviv Markovitz on bass and Raviv’s Vail Jazz Workshop colleague Jimmy Macbride on drums.
Raviv’s overarching memory of the Vail Jazz Workshop is that “all the instructors were amazing. Really extraordinary.” He specifically valued the instructors’ morning “rap sessions” – personal stories of their own challenges and successes developing as musicians and people. “Those individual stories also just personalize them, and make it easier to relate to them, because you see the result but you don’t always see the road to get there. In Vail, it’s so clear that the instructors care so much about the students, and it’s just about improving and growing together, and also about building a love for music, and for each other. I think that makes for better musicians, and better people.”
Raviv recalls while leaving Vail at the end of his Workshop week that music director and bass mentor John Clayton told him, “ ’I’ll be your fan and teacher for life. Whatever you need, whenever, anything.’ That kind of vibe,” Raviv says, permeated the whole experience. “Just a sense of family, and a sense of community, that are actually cultivated to be part of the experience. It’s a unique place.”