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Ari Melinger-Cohen Band

Ari Melinger-Cohen is not just a bassist and guitarist; he's a true musical mastermind. As a bandleader, singer, music producer, and recording engineer, he crafts a collection of carefully-honed, genre-blending, and emotive expressions in his songs. Live with his band, he creates a dynamic and captivating musical journey that is sure to leave you smiling, bouncing and eager to hear more.

Desert Highway

Latest Releases

“Feathered Tides,” an album 5-years in the making, is his immensely entertaining debut album. From cut to cut the listener travels across musical genres and wide-ranging poetic lyrics. Introduced to a sold-out venue at Roots Music Project, Boulder, “Feathered Tides” is garnering positive reviews and significant attention. According to Nagamag, Melinger-Cohen’s song “Shine On” is a “musical masterpiece.” Other songs featured on “Feathered Tides” are called “catchy rock melodies with very driving rhythmic force.”

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about ari melinger-cohen

Like his music, Ari Melinger-Cohen, who hails from the Washington, D.C. metro area, has traveled a unique path – from graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley and a promising career in geophysics to musical explorations across the United States, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.


Since beginning on piano at the age of 7, and especially with the guitar at age 12, music has been the spark and outlet for Ari’s creativity. Perhaps Ari was born in the era, because he has always idealized times from well before his birth. The music that first caught his ear was the rock music of the 50's, 60's and 70's. He got a lot of his deepest musical sensibilities listening to bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. But as he continued to study music in high school and college, he became deeply immersed in jazz, which opened him up to a much more expansive view of what music can be. By studying and playing jazz from its roots in old time swing and Dixeland, through bebop, and into modern jazz fusion, Ari gained an extensive understanding of theory, composition, and improvisation.

After college, Ari left the music world for 5 years to pursue a Ph.D. in geophysics. The pull of music, however, was irresistible and Ari realized that that he had to commit to it as his true passion. To navigate this career transition, Ari devised a foolproof plan and learned the bass guitar to join a band of semi-nomadic troubadours that he had met while traveling in New Zealand, called Mad Hallelujah. This folk rock band expanded Ari's musical horizon again, gaining a deep appreciation for folk music from around the world, but especially the American folk traditions, including bluegrass and Americana. Importantly, Ari also learned how sing while playing with the group. As the group professionalized, so did Ari as a bassist and a singer. While touring and recording with this band, Ari began writing his own original music and set his sights on diversifying his bass playing and launching his own creative projects.

When the group disbanded during the pandemic, he relocated to join the thriving music community of the Front Range in Colorado. Today he lives in Boulder and is spearheading his own project, for which he has completed his first album Feathered Tides, started a gigging band, and is recording a second. He also actively gigs as member of multiple other bands and a bassist for hire. He . He plays music across a range of genres, from folk rock to funk and modern jazz to Americana and bluegrass to pop dance music. He has developed a keen pair of ears for music production and launched a music studio, Tone Mountain Productions, where he works as a producer and engineer. 

Playing bass has taught Ari to always approach music by listening deeply and trying to get "inside to feel the core of the tune." As a musician, he takes this approach and infuses elements from all the styles mentioned above into his playing and his compositions. In this way, he creates a unique sound that transmits his experiences and life lessons through this art.

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Upcoming Shows

Past Shows

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