Avram Fefer

Avram Fefer is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader. He has been performing and recording internationally since 1990. After spending the decade 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 Down Beat, Cadence, the Village Voice, the Chicago Weekly Standard, and JazzPortugal. He has four releases with the jazz pianist Bobby Few, and has performed in most of the major clubs in New York, as well as numerous clubs and festivals in Europe, Africa, Japan, and the Middle East. He is especially known for his trio work in the sax-bass-drums format, including his recordings Calling All Spirits, Calling All Poets with Igal Foni and Eric Revis, and the albums Ritual and Eliyahu, featuring Eric Revis on bass and Chad Taylor on drums. His 2019 quartet album Testament features this same trio, along with guitarist Marc Ribot.

Avram Fefer
Years active1990-present
Associated acts

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.[1] He spent several years in Paris, where he played with Archie Shepp, The Last Poets, Sunny Murray, Kirk Lightsey, Jack Gregg, Rasul Siddik, Graham Haynes, and John Betsch. It was also in Paris that Avram first became interested in West African and Arabic music, playing with a variety of musicians from Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, and Morocco. He was also a composer and soloist for an acid jazz group in France with two top-selling discs on Virgin Records (1994–95).

In New York, Fefer continues to compose music and lead numerous groups of his own, releasing thirteen CDs as a leader and appearing on numerous others as a sideman. He has also been featured in the David Murray Big Band, Butch Morris Orchestra, Joseph Bowie Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Frank Lacy's Vibe Tribe, the Rob Reddy Octet, Famoro Diabate’s Kakande, the Adam Lane Octet, the Michael Bisio Quartet, Adam Rudolph's Organic Orchestra, and Greg Tate's Burnt Sugar. He has a private music teaching practice in downtown Brooklyn and collaborates with a variety of creative artists of different genres, including with famed director Ivo Van Hove on his award-winning production of A Streetcar Named Desire and with Melvin Van Peebles on his 2010 theatrical production of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, in which Avram acted, as well as played tenor sax.

In 2012, he initiated the Resonant Sculpture Project, an international series of solo musical interactions with the large-scale sculptures of Richard Serra.

Discography as a LeaderEdit

  • 2001 Calling All Spirits with Igal Foni, Eric Revis (Cadence)
  • 2002 Lucille's Gemini Dream with Steve Swell, Wilber Morris, Igal Foni (CIMP)
  • 2002 Few and Far Between with Wilber Morris, Bobby Few (Boxholder)
  • 2004 Shades of the Muse with Tomas Ulrich, Ken Filiano, Jay Rosen
  • 2005 Painting Breath, Stoking Fire with Michael Bisio (CIMP)
  • 2005 Kindred Spirits with Bobby Few (Boxholder)
  • 2005 Heavenly Places with Bobby Few (Boxholder)
  • 2006 Sanctuary with Bobby Few, Hill Greene, and Newman Taylor Baker (CIMP)
  • 2009 Ritual with Chad Taylor, Eric Revis (Clean Feed)
  • 2011 CIMPfest: Live in Villach, Austria with Michael Bisio, Ken Filiano, Jay Rosen (CIMP)
  • 2012 Eliyahu with Chad Taylor, Eric Revis (Not Two)
  • 2013 CIMPfest: Live in Villach, Austria with Avram Fefer Quartet (CIMP)
  • 2016 Shimmer and Melt, Big Picture Holiday (Ropeadope)
  • 2018 Deja VooDoo, Rivers on Mars (Ropeadope)
  • 2019 Testament with Marc Ribot, Eric Revis, Chad Taylor (Clean Feed)

As sidemanEdit

With Michael Bisio

  • 2006 Connections (CIMP)
  • 2007 Circle This (CIMP)
  • 2008 Live at the Vision Fest XII (No Business)
  • 2009 AM (CIMP)

With Burnt Sugar

  • 2007 More Than Post Human
  • 2009 Making Love to the Dark Ages
  • 2011 All You Need Is That Negrocity
  • 2017 All You Zombies Dig the Luminosity, Burnt Sugar

With Adam Lane

  • 2010 Ashcan Rantings (CIMP)
  • 2013 Blue Spirit Band (CIMP)
  • 2013 Oh Freedom!, Blue Spirit Band (Cadence)
  • 2014 Live in Ljubjana (Clean Feed)

With others

  • 1994 Scatterap/Home, The Last Poets
  • 1994 Other Worlds, Art Sound Orchestra
  • 1994 Omnibus, Beigels Daisy Toasts (Virgin France)
  • 1995 Eat that Beigel, Beigels Daisy Toasts (Virgin France)
  • 1995 Song of the Forest Boogeraboo, Steve McCraven with Archie Shepp
  • 1998 The Soul of Grace, Manhattan New Music Project (Black Saint/Soul Note)
  • 2010 Michael Veal and Aqua Ife
  • 2011 Flarf Orchestra, Drew Gardner
  • 2012 The Sound of a Dream, Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra (Meta)
  • 2013 Sonic Mandela, Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra (Meta)
  • 2014 Dance to Reason, Michael Schumacher's DinMachine
  • 2015 Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, Dinamitri Jazz Folklore & Amiri Baraka
  • 2017 Pleonid, Stuart Popejoy
  • 2019 Ragmala, Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra w/ Brooklyn Raga Massive


  1. ^ "Avram Fefer". Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber. Retrieved 9 February 2019.

External linksEdit