Avi Avital’s 10 Favorite Things

Avi Avital_JBM-6636∏Jean-Baptiste Millot

The internationally acclaimed mandolinist shares his 10 favorite things with Princeton, NJ

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

This past Sunday, Grammy-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital wowed McCartre Theatre goers in “Mandolin Magic,” a performance highlighting the music from his recent Deutsche Grammophon album Between Worlds. Princeton was lucky enough to be selected as a stop on Avital’s spring 2016 coast-to-coast tour of the U.S. During the show, the Israeli-native played everything from well-known Baroque music to traditional Bulgarian, Turkish, and Israeli folk tunes that were often accompanied by accordionist Ksenija Sidorova and percussionist Itamar Doari.

As is evident in his list of 10 favorite things, Avital is just as vibrant and charming as the music he plays. When he’s not chasing Grammy’s, the internationally acclaimed musician can be found reading Mad Magazine, sporting the latest travel gear, or enjoying another one of his favorite things.

Avocados

Sometimes, I think that avocados came to planet Earth on a meteorite from outer space (together with mangos). They’re just toooo good.

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The Mediterranean

I was born and raised in Israel, my parents were both born in Morocco, and I lived eight years of my adult life in Italy. The Mediterranean is my home. Every holiday I take must include a chance to gaze at its blue water for several days.

Mad Magazine

I was in sixth grade when I started collecting this magazine religiously. The ultimate excuse I gave to my parents for reading them all day long was that they improved my English (!) – and actually, more efficiently than English classes at school!

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Cappuccino & Brioche

Living in Italy, I got used to having the ultimate Italian breakfast. Quick, easy, and delicious. This is still the first thing I get whenever I land in Italy.

Dancing

I love going dancing. Usually, I don’t do very well with dances that require certain steps, like tango and salsa, but anything else works for me! I believe that any good musician should be an experienced dancer. It deepens one’s rhythmical sense.

Travel Accessory Shops

If I see a store with suitcases and travel accessories, I have to step in. Spending much of the year traveling, I’m a fan of any new invention that is supposed to make travel smoother. You’ll always find me with the latest fashion of flight pillows (currently, memory foam).

Swimming

I’m not very much into sports, but the one thing I really like to do is swim. Being in the water makes everything else fade away.

Colorful Socks

Collecting colorful patterned socks started as a practical way to identify pairs of socks while doing laundry, but I soon got addicted. Socks are probably the most underrated article of clothing. Since they are almost unseen, picking out the right pair to wear is a treat you can enjoy for yourself.

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Drums

When I was in high school, I put the mandolin aside for a year and started to play the drums. My dream was to become a rocker, and I even played in a little rock band with friends from school. After some time, the mandolin just regained my attention and drums remained a hobby. You can still find me on a drum set in jam sessions whenever someone is willing to lend me a pair of sticks.

My Family

I know that this is not very original, but my wife and 3-year-old son are by far my favorite things in the world. Since a large portion of my year is spent on tour, every second with them is precious as gold.