Avi Kaplan

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Avi Kaplan
Avi Kaplan Barcelona 15.jpg
Kaplan performing with Pentatonix in Barcelona in 2015.
Born Visalia, California, U.S.<ref name=SequoiasBio>"Bio". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Retrieved April 30, 2017. </ref>
Other names Avriel & the Sequoias
Occupation Singer, guitarist, songwriter
Years active 2011–present
Website avrielandthesequoias.com
Musical career
Labels RCA, Madison Gate
Associated acts Pentatonix

Avriel Benjamin "Avi" Kaplan is an American singer and songwriter, best known as a past member of the a cappella group Pentatonix. He is known for his bass voice, and often acted as the vocal bass of Pentatonix. In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he was leaving Pentatonix following their upcoming tour.

In 2017, Kaplan debuted his solo folk music project, Avriel & the Sequoias, in which he also plays guitar. His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017; the first song, "Fields and Pier", premiered on April 29.<ref name=SequoiasDiscography>"Media". Avriel & the Sequoias' official website. Retrieved April 30, 2017. </ref> He is a three-time Grammy Award winner, as a part of Pentatonix.<ref name="Grammy">"Grammy Awards Winners". Retrieved February 8, 2015. </ref><ref name="Grammy2">"Grammy Awards 2016: See the Full Winners List". Retrieved December 10, 2016. </ref>

Early Life

Avriel Benjamin Kaplan was born in Visalia, California, where he was also raised. He has a brother and a sister, the latter now being Pentatonix's tour manager.<ref name=ForwardInterview>"Welcome to the a Capella Revolution". Forward. February 11, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2017. </ref>

He is Jewish, which led to him being repeatedly bullied as a child.<ref>‘The Sing-Off’ winner shares his story,

Retrieved August 8, 2017.</ref>

He loved folk music, and frequently went to the nearby Sequoia National Park, which became an inspiration for his music. He considers his earliest musical inspirations to be Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Bill Withers. Later inspirations include Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Ben Harper, and José González.<ref name=SequoiasBio/>


Before joining Pentatonix, Kaplan was already an accomplished a cappella artist, while also performing in operas and jazz.<ref name=ForwardInterview/>

He joined Pentatonix in 2011, when original members Kirstin Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying were searching for a bass singer and a beatboxer. The group met the day before the auditions for the third season of The Sing-Off began.<ref>Bentley, Jean (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing Off' winners Pentatonix on YouTube, Nick Lachey and recording an album". zap2it.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012. </ref> The group successfully auditioned for the show and eventually went on to win the title for 2011 (season three).<ref>Gallo, Phil (November 29, 2011). "'The Sing-Off' Finale: Pentatonix Takes The Trophy". Billboard.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012. </ref> Kaplan acted as the group's vocal bass, but frequently sang lead parts as well.

As a member of Pentatonix, Kaplan won three Grammy awards. On February 8, 2015, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a cappella" category for their song "Daft Punk", a medley of songs by Daft Punk.<ref>"Huffington Post: "Grammy Winners List For 2015 Includes Sam Smith, Pharrell, Beyoncé & More"". </ref> On February 15, 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their “That’s Christmas to Me” album.<ref>"Pentatonix Just Scored Their Second Grammy In a Row!". </ref> On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the "Best Country duo/group performance" category for "Jolene", which featured Dolly Parton.<ref>"Dolly Parton and Pentatonix win country duo/roup performance award for 'Jolene'". </ref>

On April 29, 2017, Kaplan premiered "Fields and Pier", his first song as a solo artist, under the name "Avriel & the Sequoias." His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017.<ref name=SequoiasDiscography/> In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he would be leaving Pentatonix following their then upcoming tour. He no longer acts as bass singer and only focuses on his solo career.<ref>Nyren, Erin (May 12, 2017). "Avi Kaplan Exits Pentatonix in Tearful Goodbye Video". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 13, 2017. </ref>


Avriel & the Sequoias

  • Sage and Stone (EP, 2017)


As a guest


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External links