Avi and Omer Avital aren't brothers by blood, but their latest album, Avital Meets Avital, is the product of 17 years of creative fraternity, a journey through the diverse musical styles of North Africa.
"There was a cafe where the students used to hang out, and I saw Omer there for the first time," says Avi. "He was carrying his oud.
"The case looks kind of strange. And I was carrying my mandolin. It was kind of this strange musical instruments cases interaction."
A classical mandolinist, Avi Avital's musical course ran parallel to that of Omer Avital, a bassist with a background in jazz, until both decided to collaborate in an exploration of their shared Moroccan heritage. The result is an album which is as personal as it is vibrant.
"For me the Moroccan heritage wasn't playing a big role in my cultural life- but a lot of the cultural rhythms connected with a very deep place in my cultural DNA," says Avi. "It resonated so hard that I immediately reconnected with it."
Listen to the full interview with Of Note's Katy Henriksen via the streaming link above.