Photo courtesy of artist
Tickets $22 general / $20 Earshot members & seniors (60+) / $10 students & veteran/military
A recent visitor to Seattle with his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, mesmerizing his audience with his spiritual creative approach, percussionist Kahil El’Zabar returns in collaboration with world-renowned saxophonist David Murray.
Kahil El’Zabar, recognized as an inexhaustible musical creator, embraces an artistic language which bridges ancient African music and instrumentation with the modern world, bringing to life a singular and wonderfully engaging sound. El’Zabar says, “The spirit of one’s approach comes first before the technical. All the facility in the world with nothing that comes from the heart doesn’t make good music. The basis of the strength of any artistic evolution has come from ethnicity.”
El’Zabar was born in Chicago, growing up in a South Side neighborhood where he heard music in the streets. Attending Lake Forest College, he was given the opportunity to attend the University of Ghana and study African music firsthand. He joined Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and by 1975 he was chairman of the visionary organization.
Composer, arranger, and bandleader David Murray’s fiery passion and bold and unparalleled spontaneity are instantly identifiable. His sound is deep, dark, with a wide vibrato, reminiscent of such swing era tenors as Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. Murray embodies an unending curiosity, always receptive towards new frontiers in his global musical exploration. Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful, having released over 150 albums under his own name. Murray was a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill, and Hamiet Bluiett. He’s recorded or performed with musicians including Henry Threadgill, James Blood Ulmer, Olu Dara, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Ed Blackwell, and many more. In 2017, Murray issued Cherry/Sakura, a collaboration with Japanese pianist and composer Aki Takase.