Oran Ektin has been described as a “great clarinet player” and “an excellent improviser” by the New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff and a “composer of eminent individuality” by his mentor and teacher, the legendary Yusef Lateef. His music is featured on several CDs, including a GRAMMY Award winning anti-bullying compilation CD.
Etkin’s unique sound on the sax, clarinet and bass-clarinet emanates from an openness to discovery in the world, in himself and within his music. The Irish Times observed that “Oran Etkin is a musician with his ears wide open, ab-sorbing influences from West Africa, the Far East and Europe… this is world music in the true sense, not a lazy hy-brid but a personal sound born out of deep respect for diverse musical traditions.” Indeed deep respect and honest personal musical expression are themes that tie together all of Etkin’s work – in composition, performance, recording or his educational work through his Timbalooloo organization.
Oran began piano at the age of 5, violin at 8, saxophone at 9 and clarinet at 13. He began studying with renowned saxophonist George Garzone at age 14 and later with Yusef Lateef. He studied classical clarinet and composition as an undergraduate and received a Masters in Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dave Liebman and Dave Krakauer among others.
Oran continues the tradition of music education through a groundbreaking new method of teaching music called Timbalooloo. The popularity of Etkin’s educational method has spread through word of mouth and has been en-dorsed by Harvey Keitel, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Edie Falco and Ken Burns,- all of whom have enrolled their children in Oran Etkin’s Timbalooloo Music Classes.