Ori Kaplan

Ori Kaplan
(אורי קפלן)

Ori Kaplan in 2007
Background information
Birth name Ori Kaplan
Born (1969-10-01) October 1, 1969
Genres Jazz
Instruments Saxophone
Associated acts DXM
Trio Plus
Gogol Bordello
Balkan Beat Box

Ori Kaplan (in Hebrew אורי קפלן;[1] born October 1, 1969) is a jazz saxophonist and a music producer. He moved to the United States in 1991. He has worked with many artists including Shotnez Tom Abbs, Firewater, Gogol Bordello, and Balkan Beat Box.[2] He is also known as DJ Shotnez.


The first band that Kaplan played for was DXM, an underground sampler-driven group in Tel Aviv. He chose playing for DXM instead of taking clarinet lessons.[1]

He stayed in Israel until 1991, which is when he immigrated to the United States. After getting a degree from Mannes College in 1996, Kaplan formed a group with Tom Abbs and Geoff Mann called "Trio Plus". The Trio became a quartet in 1997 when Steve Swell joined.[1]

In the same year, Kaplan also joined a lot of jazz projects related to the Knitting Factory.[1]

Kaplan joined the rock band Firewater in 1998 and toured both the United States and Europe. He also formed his "Ori Kaplan Percussion Ensemble", with Susie Ibarra, Geoff Mann, and Andrew Bemkey.[1]

He joined the band Gogol Bordello after having seen them play the Lower East Side[3] and toured with them extensively from 2001-2004. In 2004 he formed Balkan Beat Box with Tamir Muskat. The band has been touring globally since and has released 4 albums thus far.[1]

Kaplan's saxophone sound is also heard and sampled on 2 top 10 global hits: "Talk Dirty" by American R&B singer Jason Derulo and "Worth It" by American girl group Fifth Harmony, which was co-produced by Kaplan and Stargate. Additionally, Kaplan's sax work can be heard on DreamWorks Animation film, Home (2015).


With William Parker


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Kaplan, Ori – Jazz.com". Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  2. Westargaard, Sean. "Ori Kaplan Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. nthWORD Magazine Issue No. 7, August 2010
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