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Tag: Jordan McBride

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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Dan Weiss’ Trio Made One Of The Year’s Best Recordings. Hear Them At Bop Stop Sunday

(from left) Thomas Morgan, Jacob Sacks, Dan Weiss

Dan Weiss talks a lot like he plays the drums. When I spoke with him about his Sunday concert at Bop Stop, his answers to my interview questions were short. To the point. Nothing wasted. Next question?

Yet forward momentum, essential for any drummer, is just one part of his game. Color, an original voice as a composer and a keen ear for texture are in there. They’re all present on Dedication (Cygnus Records), the stunning new release by Weiss’ longstanding trio with pianist Jacob Sacks and bassist Thomas Morgan.

Given his many musical associations with artists as diverse as the saxophonists Jon Irabagon and Lee Konitz, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu, it’s kind of amazing that he’s only appeared in Cleveland twice. The trio played Bop Stop in November 2019, and 19 months earlier he was at the Hingetown club with saxophonist Chris Potter band.

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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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