After a long break spent pursuing other activities, the members of Vampire
Suit reunite at their favorite venue. The band will play on June 22nd at Barbes, 376
9th St., Park Slope, Brooklyn, at 8pm.
As the group’s leader and composer, Jay Vilnai brings to Vampire Suit his wide
palette experiences as a musician in New York, having shared the stage with such
diverse figures as Klezmer great Frank London, Brazilian percussionist Jorge Martins
saxophonist Roy Nathanson, and having played anything from traditional jazz to
Balkan music, Klezmer to Schoenberg, free improv to cabaret shows.
The music has enduring beauty that touches on the heart of the Middle East’s
musical culture while exhibiting western flair. Open improvisations and the spirit
of the belly dance coexist, encouraging the traditional undulated hip movements as
a supplement to the solid instrumentation….
-Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine
Also in play is Vilnai’s unique musical heritage as a Russian-Romanian-Polish
descendant raised in Jerusalem around a mix of contemporary and traditional Jewish
and Arab music, with a soul for rock n’roll and a BFA in jazz. Couple that with a
passion for Bartok and Stravinsky and you end up with all original music that draws
on all those influences to create something akin to traditional music for a
generation that hails from so many traditions. Balkan and Middle-Eastern rhythms are
prominent, backed by 20th century composing concepts and jazz improvising.
‘Vilnai and his vampires get high marks for their utter unpredictability from track
to track, their sheer joy they get from and give to the music and the various
textures and sounds that emerge.’
– Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
The result is a highly personal musical texture that takes you from the tribal
dances of North Africa to the marshes of the Balkans. A musical journey that is at
once personal and global, music that is at the same time unmistakably modern, yet
feels old and familiar.
‘If Bram Stoker’s imaginary Transylvania had a jazz scene, the music might sound
something like this.’
To help create that sound Vampire Suit draws on the talents of young New York
musicians that have had experience in different musical settings and cultures.
Collaborators Skye Steele (violin), Gary Pickard (sax), Mike Savino (bass) and Rich
Stein (percussion) are all adept at a variety of traditions, and well-traveled in
the jazz, rock and world scenes in New York and around the globe. They each bring
their sensibility to Vampire Suit’s far-reaching music, while the compositions are
constructed to showcase their talents and abilities.