• 11/05/2023
  • 21:00

Gabriele Coen

Live presentation of the album just released by Parco della Musica Records

Gabriele Coen Quintet

“Sephardic Beat”











After his record releases with John Zorn’s Tzadik Records, the Roman multi-instrumentalist this time recorded his eighth solo work (third CD for Parco della Musica Records) at the head of a brand new quintet in which the traditional Sephardic repertoire is repurposed from the perspective of modern jazz improvisation in a truly unique and original project. And he presents it live at the Casa del Jazz,in whose studios it was recorded.The group’s sound is forged by the presence of the ud and voice of Ziad Trabelsi, a historical member of the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio; The piano and live electronics of Alessandro Gwis, founder of Aires Tango and a great expert of Latin Tinge; the percussion and voice of Arnaldo Vacca, probably the greatest Italian percussionist; the bass of Mario Rivera, founder of Agricantus and repository of Mediterranean music.

Sefarad is the name by which the Jews called Spain, and this is where our journey begins. Fourteen centuries in which Sephardic culture was able to progress in contact first with Christianity and then, beginning in the 1700s, with Islam as well. The most distinctive features of Sephardic music go back to their Spanish, medieval, and Renaissance origins. Archaic traces are present in its melodic structure; cadences and forms in use in the minstrel music of the Christian West are preserved. One also finds in Sephardic music some of the most important parameters that characterize Islamic musical systems: scales, ornaments, microintervals, guided improvisations, interpretive style-just think of the assonances with the Arab Andalusian tradition.


Saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and teacher, Gabriele Coen has been dedicated to the encounter between jazz and ethnic music, particularly Mediterranean and Eastern European, for thirty years. A former founder of KlezRoym – a well-known Italian ensemble dedicated to the re-actualization of Jewish musical heritage – with which he recorded six records for the CNI label, in 2001 he formed the group “Gabriele Coen Atlante Sonoro” with which he fuses jazz language with ethnic music. In 2005 he began his activity with the “Jewish Experience” project with which he recorded four works including two for John Zorn’s prestigious New York label, Tzadik Records. As a composer and performer, together with Mario Rivera he has created several soundtracks for films including Davide Marengo’s “Notturno Bus” (2007), Isotta Toso’s “Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio” (2010), and Cristina Comencini’s “Tornare” (2020). Since 2013 Gabriele Coen has founded a new quintet under his own name with which, after tributes to Kurt Weill and John Zorn, he offers a highly original tribute to Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. In January 2020, their CD “Leonard Bernstein Tribute” was released on the renowned Parco della Musica Records label.

“Gabriele Coen is a composer and performer of one of the most exciting examples of New Jewish music, capable of combining deep knowledge and sincere respect for tradition with exceptional communicative insight and imaginative sensitivity. Cutting edge, yet firmly rooted in tradition, his projects express passion, integrity and impeccable interpretive artistry.” John Zorn

Casa del Jazz is managed by
Fondazione Musica per Roma
Fondazione Musica per Roma manages the Auditorium Parco della Musica Ennio Morricone and Casa del Jazz