Avi Kaplan

UX Designer

Avriel Benjamin Kaplan was born in Visalia, California, where he was also raised. He has a brother, Joshua Kaplan, and a sister, Esther Koop, who is Pentatonix’s tour manager as of April 2018. [4] He is Jewish, which was the cause of vast bullying as a child. [5]

He loved folk music, and frequently went to the nearby Sequoia National Park, which became an inspiration for his music. He considers his 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
Before joining Pentatonix, Kaplan was already an accomplished a cappella artist, performing in the styles of jazz and opera among others. [4]

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. [6] The group successfully auditioned for the show and eventually went on to win the title for 2011 (season three). [7] 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. [8] On February 15, 2016, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the same category, this time for their rendition of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their That’s Christmas to Me album. [9] On February 12, 2017, Pentatonix won a Grammy in the “Best Country duo / group performance” category for their cover of “Jolene,” which featured Dolly Parton. [10]

On April 29, 2017, Kaplan premiered “Fields and Pier,” his first song as a solo artist, under the name “Avriel & the Sequoias.” [11] In May 2017, Kaplan announced that he would be leaving Pentatonix to spend more time with friends and family. [12] His debut EP, Sage and Stone, was released on June 9, 2017. [11]

In October 2019, he announced a European tour, his first since leaving Pentatonix. [13]

On November 5, 2019, he announced an upcoming EP, “I’ll Get By”, set to be released January 24, 2020, along with an accompanying tour. [14] [15] On January 21, 2020, the release was postponed to February 28 as a result of being signed to Fantasy Records. [16]

Kaplan is a co-founder of A Cappella Academy, a camp established in 2014 for 12-18 year-old kids to learn about a cappella.