Avram Fefer

Avram Fefer: Saxophone


Avram Fefer has been performing and recording internationally since 1990. After spending the 1990’s as a soloist with a number of different groups, his first several recordings as a leader were singled out as among the Best of 2001 and Best of 2002 in publications such as Downbeat Magazine, Cadence magazine, the Village Voice, the Chicago Weekly Standard, and JazzPortugal.

Now, with nine recordings as a leader or co-leader, Avram is gaining attention as both composer and improviser. Sanctuary (CIMP 2006) was the fourth CD highlighting his collaboration with 72 year old piano legend Bobby Few – this time in a quartet format. Fefer has established a distinctive personal style reflecting his taste for adventure and experimentation while drawing on his command of the jazz tradition. His latest recording, Ritual –a trio with drummer Chad Taylor and bassist Eric Revis — has just been released on Clean Feed Records.

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 then moved to Paris, France (1990) for several years where his music career officially began. During this time, he performed in Europe, Africa and the Mideast and was featured on diverse recordings, including by rap originators, the Last Poets (Scatterap/Home), and with jazz legend Archie Shepp on drummer Steve McCraven’s Song of the Forest Boogeraboo [World McC Music]. He was also one of the founding members and featured soloists of the French “acid jazz” group, Beigels Daisy Toast, recording two top-selling CD’s for Virgin France in 1994 and 95.

Since moving to New York in the mid-90’s, Fefer’s diverse musical interests have kept him busy. His electric groups—the Tone Poets, Squelch, and Auto*Dope—were all downtown favorites, while his acoustic trio’s debut CD, Calling All Spirits (2001), was a hit with jazz critics. Fefer has continued to lead numerous groups of his own with musicians like Reggie Washington, Roy Campbell, James Zollar, Curtis Fowlkes, Sean Conly, Ben Allison, William Parker, Tomas Ulrich, Michael Bisio, Eric Revis, Chad Taylor, and Brad Jones.

In addition to Burnt Sugar, he has been featured in a number of large ensembles, including the David Murray Big Band, Butch Morris Orchestra, Joseph Bowie Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe, the Adam Lane Quartet and Octet, the Michael Bisio Quartet, and the Rob Reddy Octet.

He has performed at clubs and festivals around the world, including the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Free Music Festival in Antwerp, Belgium, the Burlington Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall, the Heineken Jazz Festival, the Verizon Jazz Festival, the Knitting Factory What is Jazz Festival, the Tel-Aviv Jazz Festival, the Williamsburg Jazz Festival, Sons D’Hiver in Paris, and the Casa del Popolo Festival in Montreal, among others. In addition to performing, he also maintains a thriving private teaching practice in downtown Manhattan.