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Ari Melinger-Cohen Band

Ari Melinger-Cohen is not just a bassist and guitarist; he's a true musical innovator. 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. He hopes that his music will serve as a reminder of what it means to simply be a human at home on the Earth.

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. Throughout the journey, Ari has drawn inspiration from a deep connection to nature.


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 to 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 launching his own creative projects and diversifying his bass playing.


When the group disbanded during the pandemic, he relocated to join the thriving music community of the Front Range in Colorado. He now lives in Boulder, where he is close to his source of inspiration among the mountains and streams of the Rockies. He is spearheading his solo project and released his debut album, “Feathered Tides”, in late 2023. He is actively recording a follow-up album and is performing the music with his newly-formed band, in which he sings lead and plays bass. 


Ari writes songs to capture the essence of a feeling or a sentiment, which are often related to an underlying longing to belong and feel connected the people and places around him. Inspired by his ongoing love affair with the wild natural places on Earth, he writes lyrics that speak to that specific sentiment, which are usually set in nature. But since so much of the pure essence of a feeling can’t be spoken, but only felt, he tries find the right music to convey the emotion, drawing upon his influences across a range of genres, from rock to funk to jazz to folk and Americana. His long-standing role as a bassist has taught Ari to always approach music by listening deeply and trying to get "inside the music to feel the core of the tune." From this approach he crafts unique songs that, hopefully, transmit the essence of that particular feeling effectively. He hopes that the shared experience of the music might help people feel more connected to themselves and their communities.


Aside from his solo project, Ari spends time helping others develop their music. He loves supporting original music and plays bass in a number of projects. He has also developed a keen pair of ears for music production and runs a recording studio called Tone Mountain Sound, where he works as a producer and engineer. Outside of music, he teaches math and science to middle and high school students and pursues a full regiment of nature connection practices and activities, including primitive skills, animal tracking, bird language, backpacking, trail running, and meditation, to name a few.

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Upcoming Shows

Past Shows

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