The International Vamp Band is a truly international ensemble. Featuring Avishai on piano and electric bass, it includes Eric McPherson on drums (replacing Antonio Sanchez), Yagil Baras on acoustic bass, Avi Lebovich on trombone, flute and vocals, Yosvany Terry on tenor and alto saxophones and chekeré, and Diego Urcola on trumpet and flugelhorn. Their music is a synthesis of traditional jazz and fusion, and features a seamless blend of Latin, Middle Eastern and Jewish influences. Like all true jazz, it creates something new out of the elements from which it draws. And beyond the sound, their album "Unity" strives for a message as well. Born from Cohen’s experience of the violence and injustice in his native country, it is intended to be a catalyst:
"‘There is frustration and terror in the Middle East, the neglect of responsibility toward human life,’ Cohen says, noting that all six members of the International Vamp Band come from homelands with histories of strife. ‘To have stronger hope about the situation, I needed to positively connect the music I am so passionate about with my personal views.’ The key to achieving this, he says, was to unite a group of musicians from around the globe to ‘show the world that people from different backgrounds can come together and work together’" (Billboard Magazine).
Chick Corea calls him "an amazing combination of influences." Downbeat Magazine went farther in declaring him a "Jazz Visionary of global proportions".
The performance will be held on Sunday October 13, at 7 pm. Tickets to the Avishai Cohen and the International Vamp Band are available online at www.cheneyhall.org, or through the box office at 177 Hartford Road, Manchester CT, 06040, (860) 647-9824.