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Tag: Chicago

For 49 Years, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble Has Played–And Embodied–Black History

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Corey Wilkes, Dr. Kahil El’Zabar, Alex Harding

One of the great consolations of hanging around the music business stage door for a long time comes when people who assume that you know things ask you questions. One of my favorites is: Which band have you seen the most times? I love this question because it gives me a chance to talk about Kahil El’Zabar’s magnificent Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, which is also my favorite band.

Now, for the first time since I moved to Cleveland in 2019, I get to talk about an upcoming concert of theirs that I will attend. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Convivium 33 Gallery, presented by the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project and needless to say, if you’re reading this, you should go, too (full disclosure: I played a small part in making this concert happen). An Ethnics concert is never less than completely enjoyable and on any given night, it can be a transformative experience.

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New Composers Collective Lays Down the Law at Bop Stop

Third Law CollectiveWhat’s the second-most exciting day in a composer’s life? The day of the first performance of a new piece, of course. So, what’s the most exciting day? The day of the second performance. World premieres are exciting, but many compositions are heard once and then disappear. A second performance confers a bit of staying power.

This is especially true in the concert music world, but composers of creative music in the Black American tradition face many of the same challenges in bringing their work to the stage. Enter The Third Law Collective, a gathering of local composer/players whose project to present and support new composition in northeast Ohio gets underway Jan. 26 at Bop Stop.

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Blowing In From Chicago: Tim Daisy and Ken Vandermark Friday at Convivium 33

Tim Daisy Ken Vandermark
Tim Daisy, Ken Vandermark

Being a creative musician in Chicago almost demands a willingness to play anything, everywhere with everybody. Percussionist Tim Daisy and saxophonist Ken Vandermark, who will appear at Convivium 33 Friday, Jan. 13, embody that imperative as well as anyone, having collaborated with hundreds of musicians, movement and visual artists on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet despite lengthy resumes that suggest an affinity with musical speed dating, the two are just as committed to long-term relationships, especially their own.

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Pianist Theron Brown Keeps Things Going with a Free Concert at Cleveland’s Public Library

Theron Brown

If your idea of a library is a place of hushed reverence, by all means stay away from the Downtown Branch of the Cleveland Public Library tomorrow afternoon where silence will be in short supply thanks to pianist Theron Brown and his trio of Jordan McBride on bass and drummer Zaire Darden. Reverence, on the other hand, will be abundant since these three players are among northeast Ohio’s most persuasive advocates of improvised music in the Black American tradition.

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Dan Bruce’s :beta collective Minds The Mystics with a Free CD Release Concert

Dan Bruce :beta collective

In Eastern philosophical systems, time isn’t linear as we think of it in the West. It’s an endlessly looping circle. Musicians can appreciate this concept better than most of us, on and off the bandstand.

Consider guitarist Dan Bruce, who will celebrate the release of Time to Mind the Mystics, the new recording by his ensemble :beta collective with a free concert at Negative Space on Thursday.

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