ALON & JOCA - Duet project of original compositions with singer/songwriter & percussionist Joca Perpignan
Alon Yavnai & Jesper Riis - Duet project with trumpeter & composer Jesper Riis- Our debut album "Reconnect" is now available on iTunes, Amazon and Gateway Music.
This year I started collaborating with Machiko Ozawa, an eclectic composer, and a fantastic and energetic violinist, who incorporates Tap dancing in her performances. We will be touring Japan and South-Korea in the summer, performing our original compositions and Argentinean Tangos.
ALON & JOCA debut album was officially released on February 11, 2016!
* Available From next week in iTunes & Amazon. Soon on Cdbaby!
Based on Israeli & Latin-American roots, the duo ALON & JOCA is an encounter between two eclectic & virtuoso musicians. The long and special connection between the two musicians makes their music deep and unique.
Their international career experience brings to their music a variety of influences from Latin- America, Africa & the Middle-East, creating a colorful and exciting music with no bounderies. Their repertoire is based mostly on their original compositions & arrangements.
The duo has performed in various prestigious festivals and concert halls, including the Red Sea Jazz Festival, Sala Baden Powell in Rio De Janeiro, Punta del Este International Jazz Festival in Uruguay, and lazzara Performing Hall in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
In September of 2015 the duo spent two weeks at the NDR studios in Hamburg, with the renowned NDR Bigband. They recorded mostly Joca's songs, arranged by Alon Yavnai, comissioned by the NDR Bigband, for radio broadcast. The duo was joined by special guests artists Mark kakon on Guitar, and Kiko Freitas on Drums.
In February 2016 the duo is returning to Hamburg, this time to perform at the concert series at Liebermann Performing Hall, curated by Stephan Gerdes, celebrating their new album ALON & JOCA, which was recorded last February in New York.
For the past ten years I have been writing arrangements of my original music, commissioned by the renowned NDR Bigband in Hamburg, Germany. We have performed in Europe, and recorded an album in 2012, "Shir Ahava" (see All About Jazz CD Review in PRESS & CONTACT menu). The album is available on iTunes:
Currently I am mixing another album with the band, which I arranged, and recorded last September in NDR studios in Hamburg, Germany.
This album is a collaboraton of ALON & JOCA with the NDR Bigband, which consists of the songs of singer / songwriter & percussionist Joca Perpignan, an instrumental composition of mine, and a song from Cape Verde, by Ramiro & João Mendes.
Re-encounter with my old friend, trumpeter, composer & big band arranger Jesper Riis. It has been about 20 years since we played together in the U.S. Life somehow brought us back together. This February we have released an album titled "Reconnect", comprised of our original compositions. It was recorded on September 18 & 19 of 2015, in a beautiful studio looking over the Fjörd in Vejle, Denmark. The first tune on the album was concieved in the moment, spontaneously.
Our debut album "Reconnect" is now available on iTunes, Amazon & Gateway Music.
All About Jazz - Italy
CD Review by Laura D'Incá, May 2001
The Israeli pianist Alon Yavnai, with his first release as a leader,
confirms the talent he had shon in previous projects, like his collaborations with
Fewddie Hubbard and Bob Moses.
His atyle is extremely interesting and expressive, the energy and the
intensity in the creation of the music running up and down the kyes,
continuously weaving, destroying and recreating textures that are always
surprising, has a magnetic effect. The atention given to the compositions
pays off, and the result is complete work.
D.S. al Coda isn't properly classifiable. Luckily, I want to add. Luckily,
because it probably means that it has in it something new. It's certainly
Jazz. Not mainstream or latin or World music, it's all these at the same
time. Not Israeli Jazz, or from particular place. This music seems to
carry a multicultural spirit of some majoc place.
The success of this work is complete thanks also to the musicians that
accompany Yavnai in his piano explorations. The bass player Massimo
Biolcati and the drummer Take Toriyama prove themselves to be really
"open and adventurous", like Yavnai tells us in the liner notes. George
Garzone plays his saxophone creating enchanting melodies, and with Dino
Govoni and Avishai Cohen, they meet and switch their parts in a
fascinating musical conversation.
"Tfeelah", that means prayer, it's one of the more spiritual compositions,
with the horns in the lower register, in an apparent harmonic chaos,
with the vocals of Michal Cohen (whom appears also on the opening "Bitter Roots")
in front and with the pressing rhythm section behind.
The closing "Coda" is a short, solitary reflection at the piano, romantic and
optimistic, that invites you to listen to the CD from the beginning. That's
also what the title D.S. al Coda seems to suggest.
Don't miss it!
Alon Yavnai / NDR Bigband - Shir Ahava
(Alon Yavnai Music)
Alon Yavnai, an Israeli who began playing the piano at age four, says little about himself
in the sleeve notes to Shir Ahava, his splendid large-scale recording debut with
Germany's outstanding NDR Bigband. A quick glance online, however, reveals that he
studied at Boston's Berklee School of Music, earned first-place honors in the Great
American Jazz Piano competition; has played and recorded with the great Cuban multi-
instrumentalist Paquito D'Rivera ( with whom he won a Grammy Award for Best Latin
Jazz Album), and has performed with such well-known musicians as Freddie Hubbard,
Regina Carter, Joe Lovano, Nancy Wilson, Louis Hayes, Ravi Coltrane, Claudio Roditi,
Rufus Reid and George Garzone, among others.
Yavnai first became acquainted with the NDR Bigband while touring as a member of
D'Rivera's rhythm section, wrote a couple of charts for the band, then approached
producer Axel Durr to suggest that they collaborate on a full-blown big-band enterprise.
Durr was receptive, so Yavnai returned to New York and started writing. The result is
Shir Ahava ("Love Poem"), which enwraps seven of Yavnai's lively and coloful
compositions / arrangements. Besides writing everything, Yavnai is listed as pianist but
the keyboard he's playing on "Travel Notes" sounds early on more like a persian santour
than a conventional piano. Soprano Lutz Büchner and trumpeter Ingolf Burkhardt also
solo on "Travel Notes", one of three numbers that run for more than ten minutes ( the
others are "Au Castagney" and "Ilha B'nit"). The NDR receives a vigorous workout on
every track and welcomes the challenge of helping Yavnai's music come alive.
It's clear from the outset that rhythm is at the heart of everything Yavnai writes, and
there's more than a dash of Middle eastern flavor seasoning "Bitter Roots", Zriha" and
"Ilha B'nit", each of which is a rhythmic and harmonic pleasure. When Yavnai changes
pace, as he does on "Au Castagney" and "Sof" ( each tastefully introduced by his
unaccompanied piano), the outcome is no less rewarding. Yavnai's graceful piano also
launches "Shir Ahava", a contemporary rhapsody whose Middle Eastern provenance is
less conspicuous. The handsome solos are by Yavnai, Burkhardt, Büchner (tenor) and
flutist Fiete Felsch. Trombonist Dan Gottshall is showcased on "Zriha", while Felsch,
trumpeter Reiner Winterschlagen and guitarist Sandra Hempel have their say on "Au
Castagney", Felsch and baritone Frank Delle on "Bitter Roots", Yavnai, Felsch and
Büchner (clarinet) on "Ilha B'nit" (whose closing shout chorus resonantly prefaces the
Alon yavnai is an exemplary pianist, composer and arranger, the NDR Bigband a
world-class ensemble, and together they have produced an uncommonly invigorating and
impressive album, one that should please any partisan of superlative big-band jazz.
---- Jack Bowers
For a downlaodable PDF file of this review click here: http://www.alonyavnaimusic.com/files/15.jpg
Three people are making a musical journey. This is Travel Notes by the Israeli pianist Alon Yavnai and his trio consisting of Omer Avital on bass and oud and percussionist Jamey Haddad. Together, they weave a rich tapestry of melodic sounds like a pencil drawing on an ancient piece of paper.
The music is old and new, timely and timeless. While belonging to a lyrical line of pianists starting with Bill Evans, Alon Yavnai has his very own sound; a sound that has much to do with his acknowledging of his Eastern heritage in his music. This is also evident in the song titles, which carry beautiful, exotic names like "Shir Ahava Tari," "Ilha B'nit" and "Zricha."
What arises, then, is a form of lyric strangeness that can be compared to hearing a foreign language without understanding the meaning but still being able to get a sense of the grammar. The grammar of jazz is enchanted by this wonderful trio, which has its very own language.
An example of the form of musical enchantment could be the ballad "Shir Ahava Tari" that shimmers with harmonic possibilities, retaining a balance between Eastern music, classical and jazz. Music played ever so softly, like hands touching a lover.
"Ilha B'nit" finds the group in elegant interplay with bouncing bass lines from Avital and Haddad's atmospheric, rattling percussion. The tune is an example of one of the more upbeat moments of the album, but overall Travel Notes has a quality of tranquility about it. Every note is given its due and all the richer for it.
The reason why the music never falls into the pit of aimless meandering is the strong framework that Yavnais's compositions provide for the players' musical ideas. In the end the trio achieves the rare balance between open-ended exploration and unifying structure.
This is ideally how travelling should be: a road where one is always curious to learn more and win new territory while still keeping a sense of purpose. Travel Notes are notes in the double sense of the word. The music has the quality of being written down in the moment and yet it has the enigmatic quality that the French novelist Marcel Proust identified as the melancholy of capturing a memory that is forever lost—even though it is relived in the very moment of its recollection.
Track Listing: Bayit; Yonatan; Yoman; Numi Numi; Travel Notes; Shir Ahava Tari; Ilha B'nit; Yakinton; Zricha; Sof.
Personnel: Alon Yavnai: piano; Omer Avital: bass, oud; Jamey Haddad: percussion.
Alon Yavnai Trio | Bon Rapport Music (2004)
By Stephen Latessa
Picture This, by the Alon Yavnai Trio, features an intriguing mix of music from different geographical areas as well as historical eras. Backed by Massimo Biolcati on acoustic bass and Take Toriyama on drums (with guest spots by Cuban reed player Paquito D’Rivera), pianist Yavnai tackles Middle Eastern-tinged material, a Bach fugue, as well as some Cuban jazz offerings. Impressively, the band is able to offer dynamic, forward-looking performances, even when they are looking to the past.
Drummer Toriyama, in particular, fires these pieces. His off-kilter interjections and unique percussion voices seem to keep his band mates on edge and alert to the possibilities of each number. His inventiveness on “The Beginning,” composed by bassist Biolcati, certainly inspires admiration.
Picture This is a deeply ambitious work, an attempt to connect the dots between music of disparate types and different eras with the common element of jazz swing. However, the all-inclusive embrace of the material yields an album that never sounds pedantic or overburdened by the history and genre minutiae of the music.
The trio succeeds in making even the mathematical rigors of a Bach fugue seem entirely appropriate for the tender sway of a slow dance.
Alon Yavnai, winner of the 1996 International Jazz Piano Competition, grew up in a fusion of cultures, the son of an Argentinean mother and an Israeli father. Since childhood, he has been absorbing Israeli music, Jazz, R&B, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, Latin American and African music, alongside the music of Bach, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok, and other great composers of the European tradition. For Alon, music has no boundaries, and it is precisely that boundless spirit that is deeply rooted in his compositions, his teachings, and that emanates from his performances.
Alon has recorded and performed with internationally-renowned artists worldwide, including Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D’Rivera, Freddie Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Dave Liebman, Regina Carter, Bob Moses, Jamey Haddad, Rufus Reid, The New York Voices, Rosa Passos, Joyce, and Leni Andrade, among others.
In 2012, sponsored by the office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Alon was one of the featured headline artists at the Festival of Israeli Jazz & World Music in New York City. He performed his original music with his New York based big band at Bryant Park, Joe’s Pub, and the prestigious Birdland, joined by the legendary Dave Liebman, and multi Grammy-Award Winner Paquito D’rivera. Also that year, the America-Israel Cultural Foundation invited Mr. Yavnai to perform his original big band music at their annual Gala Event, at Lincoln Center in New York.
One of Yavnai's special performances was at Carnegie hall, where he played Brahms Clarinet Trio in A minor with Yo-Yo Ma and Paquito D’Rivera. Alon has performed as a soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra at Colon Theater, Buenos Aires, at a concert dedicated to the music of George Gershwin, Astor Piazzolla, and Duke Ellington, together with Mr. Paquito D’Rivera. Two years later, Alon was invited by conductor Christof Escher to perform the piano concerto in A minor by Robert Schumann at Tonhalle in Switzerland, with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra. Other performances of Mr. Yavnai include Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Symphony Hall in Boston, and the prestigious Blue Note in New York and Tokyo.
These collaborations have drawn major recognition to Alon's compositions by the music industry.
Most notably, he received a Latin Grammy Award as musical director of Paquito D’Rivera’s Historia Del Soldado album in 2003. His composition “Five After” was featured on Paquito D’Rivera’s Jazz Chamber Trio album on Chesky records, and was nominated for a Grammy Award as best instrumental album in 2005. Another composition of Alon Yavnai,“FunkTango”,was featured as the title track on Paquito D’Rivera’s album, which won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Album, and in 2009 Alon recorded on Yo-Yo Ma’s album Songs of Joy & Peace, on sony Classical, which won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album in that year.
Hi Everyone, welcome to Arranging for Big band.
Here I share with students my big band writings based on my original music. Over the past ten years I have been writing music commissioned by the NDR Bigband in Hamburg, Germany; some of it you can find on the album Shir Ahava (2012).
I also perform with my New York-based big band. Some of the venues where we performed include Lincoln Center, Birdland, and Joe's Pub in New York, and Scullers Jazz club in Boston.
Here are some of the subjests I cover:
1. Treating melody
2. Considering foreground, middleground & background
3. Different harmonic approaches and reharmonization
4. Textures & dynamics through orchestration
5. Creating interesting rhythms & grooves with the horns
6. Thinking horizontally and vertically
7. Working with density & space
8. Creating sections within sections
You can listen to some of my music arranged for big band in the AUDIO menu. Also, below there is a link to one of my scores, "Long time Ago, Moses..." check it out together with the Mp3 from the AUDIO menu.
* Lessons are conducted through SKYPE. For more details, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org