Eyal Vilner has become one of the leading new voices in the New York and global swing scene. Born in Tel Aviv, saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist, composer and bandleader Eyal moved to New York in 2007 and started his big band the following year. The Eyal Vilner Big Band has been performing widely in New York City’s landmarks such as Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim, Birdland, Dizzy's Club, Smalls, Minton’s Playhouse, Harlem Jazzmobile and Central Park SummerStage.
Internationally, Eyal has performed on Israel's most prestigious stages such as the Red Sea Jazz Festival, Tel Aviv Museum, Jerusalem Theater, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival as well as the historical La Bellevilloise, Le Duc des Lombards, and Caveau de la Huchette in Paris, France.
The big band performs Eyal's original compositions as well as his new arrangements of jazz classics. Their music, which derives from the tradition of jazz, swing and the blues, strives to bring a unique voice to this beautiful art form.
Eyal's interest in the exchange between sound and movement within the jazz idiom inspired his musical journey and yielded collaborations with acclaimed dancers and choreographers. Among these projects are theater productions, dance festivals and competitions such as the International Lindy Hop Championships, Midsummer Night's Swing, and the celebrated SW!NG OUT show at the Joyce Theater (co-creator and musical director). This show, which the New York Times has called "Groundbreaking," has toured throughout the US, in venues such as the Jacob’s Pillow and the LA Music Center.
The big band’s first six albums: Introducing the Eyal Vilner Big Band, Almost Sunrise, Hanukkah, Swing Out!, Live in Washington Square Park!, and The Jam! received rave reviews and made it to the Top Jazz Radio Charts of the US and Canada
The Eyal Vilner Big Band has collaborated with some of the top jazz legends of our time including NEA Jazz Masters Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath and Jimmy Owens, and pianist Junior Mance.
“Eyal Vilner's skills as a musician are unquestionable, but his talents as a composer, arranger and bandleader are what's truly on display on Introducing The Eyal Vilner Big Band, a remarkable debut recording from a group poised to take their place among the major big bands of the East. Vilner offers clever charts, excellent musicianship and an exciting new sound in the finest tradition of contemporary big band music.” ~Edward Blanco, All About Jazz NY
“With multiple lyrical lines and harmonic boundaries shattered with alarming regularity The Eyal Vilner Big Band is scoring their own arrangement that should soon have them at the pinnacle of big band success. While keeping one foot firmly in the history and a keen lyrical eye on the present, Eyal Vilner is a formidable force to be reckoned with in the big band idiom.” ~Brent Black, Critical Jazz
“(Vilner) revives a classic style of music and refines it to appeal to contemporary audiences. Vilner is all about showing beauty through music, coordinating instrument parts, layering them and integrating them into positively-charged melodies that are soothing on the ears and caressing to the soul.” ~Susan Frances, Yahoo!