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Avram Fefer

Avram Fefer is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader, currently residing in New York City. He has been performing and recording internationally since 1990, with eleven album releases as a leader and many more as a sideman. He has performed with world-class musicians throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and enjoys collaborations with creative artists of all sorts, including poets, dancers, visual artists, DJ's, and digital sound designers, among others.

His writings have been published in several books; his music has appeared in a variety of films and television shows; he has been teaching privately for over 20 years; and he has performed in several notable theatre productions —- director Ivo Van Hove's production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baaadaaaas Song, and BRIC Arts Brer Rabbit The Opera: A Funky Meditation On Gentrification.

With a distinctive voice on each of his many woodwinds, Avram is known for the depth, intelligence, and soulfulness that he brings to a wide variety of musical settings. These include performances and recordings of straight-ahead and avant- garde jazz, funk, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, West and North African music, Latin, modern classical, and free jazz. He performs in groups of all sizes —- from solo and duo, to big band and 45-piece orchestra.

In 2012, he initiated The Resonant Sculpture Project, a series of solo musical interactions with the large-scale work of renowned sculptor Richard Serra. It is a unique and innovative long-term project that is ongoing. Recent performances include the Gagosian Gallery in New York City (Feb. 2014), the Gagosian Gallery in London ( March 2015), and the Princeton Art Museum (April 2015).

His latest album, Big Picture Holiday: Shimmer and Melt, features a six piece electric band that has been an active part of New York City's underground music scene over the last several years. With a funky, psychedelic attitude, and hints of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, and The Ethiopiques, this album marks a major step in Avram's musical trajectory as a leader and composer.

Avram grew up on both coasts of the United States, received a liberal arts degree at Harvard University and studied music at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory. He spent several years in Paris, France, where he began his career and refined his artistic vision. He has performed in festivals and clubs in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, and the Middle East, and is fortunate to have collaborated with many legendary figures over the years.

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Tags

9
Album Review

Avram Fefer Quartet: Juba Lee

Read "Juba Lee" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Avram Fefer comes out swinging on Juba Lee, the second release from his quartet,. It must have certainly been fated, as the opener “Showtime" hits hard with its muscular sound. Fefer's tenor saxophone blows out any existing cobwebs before handing off to guitarist Marc Ribot. The music continues the rich sound heard on the quartet's critically acclaimed previous release Testament (Clean Feed, 2019). Fefer built this sound first in trio with bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Chad Taylor heard the ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Avram Fefer, Tell No Lies, Tru Cargo Service & Pia Hernandez

Read "Avram Fefer, Tell No Lies, Tru Cargo Service & Pia Hernandez" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


The flood of new releases continues unabated and this episode jumps right into the deep end, sampling new works from a pair of European bands, Tru Cargo Service from Germany and Tell No Lies from Italy, German drumming legend Gunter Baby Sommer in a duo with Scottish saxophonist Raymond McDonald, Buenos Aires pianist Pia Hernandez, Dave Douglas, New Zealand's Trioglodyte and a pair of Canadians busy at work, vibraphonist Dan McCarthy and trumpeter Elwood Epps with his Boston version of ...

5
Radio & Podcasts

Avram Fefer, Harris Eisenstadt, Satoko Fujii & Joe Fonda and More

Read "Avram Fefer, Harris Eisenstadt, Satoko Fujii & Joe Fonda and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


You can always count on Clean Feed Records for great music, and this episode features some tunes from recent releases on the Portuguese label's catalogue. Saxophonist Avram Fefer adds Marc Ribot to his usual trio and the results on Testament are fantastic. Pianist Zack Clarke steps back to a traditional piano trio format, but the music is anything but traditional. He twists the format into a musical pretzel. English trumpeter Tom Arthurs mixes his usually sublime style with electronist Isambard ...

11
Album Review

Avram Fefer Quartet: Testament

Read "Testament" reviewed by Mark Corroto


After a blindfold listening test, maybe the greatest compliment you can give Testament is to guess the leader's name to be drummer Chad Taylor, or maybe bassist Eric Revis, guitarist Marc Ribot or saxophonist Avram Fefer himself. This misapprehension is attributed to the equal footing each of the four musicians is given on the recording. Partly this, and credit must be shared with the mixing engineer Eli Crews for his application of parity. Nevertheless, this is the Avram ...

1
Album Review

Avram Fefer's Big Picture Holiday: Shimmer And Melt

Read "Shimmer And Melt" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Let's rescue the musical descriptor 'fusion,' a pejorative word used in jazz circles to connote a work of lesser weight and significance. We don't use that word when the jazz fusion is carried out by Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, and in this case saxophonist Avram Fefer. His assemblage called Big Picture Holiday merges not just jazz and rock, but the Afrobeat music of Nigeria, Ethiopia and Morocco, James Brown's funk, blues, and the electricity of New Orleans. Fefer, ...

410
Album Review

Avram Fefer Trio: Ritual

Read "Ritual" reviewed by Troy Collins


Saxophonist Avram Fefer has led a diverse career since his emergence in the early 1990s. An eclectic collaborator, Fefer has performed with pianist Bobby Few, The Last Poets, North and West African musicians, numerous acid jazz and trip-hop artists, and served in the big bands of Frank Lacy, Adam Lane, Butch Morris and David Murray, among others.

Ritual finds Fefer reunited with his longstanding trio-mates, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Chad Taylor, whom he first met in the ...

166
Album Review

Avram Fefer and Bobby Few: Kindred Spirits

Read "Kindred Spirits" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Multiple reedist Avram Fefer and pianist Bobby Few team up here to play some jazz standards by Monk, Ellington, and Mingus--not what you'd expect from a pair of artists better known for their free jazz credentials. Few played for ten years with Steve Lacy, and Fefer put out several fine sets on the CIMP label; they collaborated with the late bassist Wilbur Morris on the outstanding Few and Far Between (Boxholder, '02). Few, who has been called a true American ...

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RITUAL—-"A ruggedly appealing new CD" —- NYTimes

"The fire ignited by saxophonist Avram Fefer is fresh, yet it sounds as eternal as all things avant in jazz... a stellar example of the trio tradition.

Fefer's varied experience, be it playing hypnotic West African traditional music or electro-acoustic trip-hop, informs his highly developed sense of swing. His coiled phrasing lends these propulsive excursions an infectious, groove-oriented focus.” (Allaboutjazz.com)

“Ear-grabbing work from this killer trio. ...has a sense of groove that's undeniable…. drawn-out, soulful explorations that ring out with a sense of freedom and an inherent swing” (Dustygroove.com)

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone

Location

New York City

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

Patient, inspiring private teacher with 20 years experience is now accepting new students. See what a difference a really great teacher can make! We will address issues of rhythm, melody, harmony, tone production/breath, ear training, and improvisation. All ages, levels and styles are accepted and encouraged. Sax, Clarinet, Flute, and/or Specialized Improvisation lessons are all available. Sliding scale fees, flexible Times, and convenient location in downtown Manhattan. Skype lessons available. email: [email protected]          

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Juba Lee

Clean Feed Records
2022

buy

Testament

Clean Feed Records
2019

buy

Shimmer And Melt

Ropeadope
2016

buy

Eliyahu

Not Two Records
2012

buy

Eliyahu

NotTwo Records
2011

buy

Videos

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