Legendary Ethnic Heritage Ensemble preview-Kahil El’Zabar and crew bring profound healing through music

KAHIL EL’ZABAR QUARTET – A TIME FOR HEALING - Kahil El'Zabar (copyright Christopher Andrews Stoptime Chicago)
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EHE Return The Spirit Tour 2022

Sir Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has toured internationally and recorded innumerable celebrated projects over the last 45 years. The current line up, featuring Corey Wilkes/trumpet, Alex Harding/baritone sax, and the band’s founder, Kahil El’Zabar/multi- percussionist/composer, is about to launch its 47th annual tour for Black History Month.

Guaranteed to inspire audiences as well as garner significant media for every presenter, the EHE is a “must-see” ensemble that changes attendees’ perceptions of the power of music. Known as “The Prolific Innovator”, El’Zabar has been said to alter music history with each performance. During the past 3 years, the EHE, along with other select musicians, has recorded several impressive albums through the U.K.’s Spiritmuse Records. Upon the conclusion of this month’s tour, they will record “Return The Spirit” in El’Zabar’s newly-appointed Chicago studio.

Kahil El’Zabar

Sir Kahil El’Zabar was actually knighted by the Counsel General of France in 2014 for his long standing international contributions to the Arts- specifically, a 14 year Artist-In-Residency in Bordeaux, France. He holds an honorary PHD (2006) in in Interdisciplinary Arts from his alma mater, Lake Forest College. Always involved in pedagogy, he has been an associate professor of music and collaborative arts at U. Nebraska (Lincoln), (1985-1995) and U. Illinois/Chicago,(1999-2004).

At an early age, the multi-mentored and mentoring El’Zabar was Chairman of the world-renowned Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) 1975-1983.

He has worked with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Pharoah Sanders, Cannonball Adderly, Donnie Hathaway, Lester Bowie, Neneh Cherry, Archie Shepp, David Murray, Nona Hendry and Ntozake Shange.

Most significantly, during the pandemic, the man whom acclaimed saxophonist/collaborator David Murray refers to as “a visionary”, launched a still-evolving mission, memorialized in an interview in SPLASH, to bring hope, peace, and a new evolution of fine sensibility to a world politically at each other’s throats, in which policeman kneeled on citizen’s throats, and has used his voice and position as visual artist, poet and musician to lift up the conscience- and consciousness- of humanity.

Corey Wilkes

Corey Wilkes, one of the most sought-after trumpeters in the world today, is an alumnus of the famed Berkley School of Music. He’s a former Associate Professor of jazz trumpet at Roosevelt U., (2008- 2016.)and is a current member of the world famous AACM. Mr. Wilkes had the honor of being chosen to replace the late, great Lester Bowie in the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

He is currently starring in a reoccurring role in the hit TV show ”Empire”.

Wilkes has played with the greats, Roy Hargrove, Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith, James Carter,  Bilal, Roscoe Mitchell, Nona Hendryx.

Alex Harding

For two decades Alex Harding was the most sought-after baritone saxophonist in New York City. In recent years, Alex has moved back to his hometown of Detroit and still is one of the busiest musicians in the world. He studied privately for many years with the legendary baritone saxophonist, Hamiet Bluiett.

Alex was the band director of the Tony Award winning Broadway hit, ”Fela”.

He has worked with music giants such as Dollar Brand, Sun Ra, Hamiet Bluiett, James Carter, Roy Hargrove, Oliver Lake, Joe Bowie’s Defunkt, Aretha Franklin.

 EHE Infinity Music Workshop

Dr. Kahil El’Zabar with the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble uses rhythm and sound to conjure the essence of spiritual transformation. They have successfully engaged their workshop participants globally, to experience music with a deeper connection for both performers and listeners. The Infinity Music Workshop inspires each participant to fully immerse him/herself in their creative core.

Through this workshop, every student at any level of competency will gain a greater understanding into the power of music to alter consciousness in a positive way. El’Zabar’s EHE Infinity Music Workshop takes students through a very innovative system of breathing techniques and exercises, advanced ensemble-based improvisational concepts and practices, extended solo development tutoring sessions and an internal focus on one’s personal expression. The Infinity Music Workshop empowers all participants with a deep desire to strive for their own creative epiphany, while simultaneously learning new and exciting methods for small and large group ensemble performance.

Students and audiences alike who have the rare opportunity of exposure to the soul healing music of the legendary Ethnic Heritage Ensemble are transformed in a most positive and fulfilling manner! Along with all of the unique and advanced learning systems of the Infinity Music Workshop, El’Zabar and his academically qualified colleagues tutor each and every student in basic music education, such as ear training, note reading, theory, history, appreciation, and composition. The mentorship that comes from an Infinity Music Workshop has been reported to be priceless.

Students are privileged to share in an intimate learning environment with these internationally acclaimed music masters; after such an encounter, students are seen to play their instrument with more confidence and expressiveness. The students tend to translate the unique lessons they learn from the EHE to other aspects of their lives, therefore utilizing the Infinity Music Workshop as an inspired holistic learning experience!

Watch these guys

You can contact the EHE for various engagements through: Arnaud Granet ar****@ht******.com, Dr. Kahil El’Zabar kahilelzabar@agerber

Itinerary for Tour:

Feb 9: Space/Evanston, IL.1245 Chicago, Ave. (Tel.847-492-8860)

Feb 11: City Gallery, 1503 State St, Erie, PA,16501 (Tel.+1(814)-218-4185)

Feb 12: Bop Shop, 1460 Monroe Ave. Rochester, NY.,14618 (Tel. 585-737-0137)

Feb 14: Government Center North,715 East St, Pittsburgh, PA. 15212, (1(412) 682-0591)

Feb 15: Andie Muzik, 409 North Charles St, Baltimore, MD. 21201, (410-385-2638)

Feb 16: Rhizome, 6950 Maple St. NW, Takoma Park, DC.20012,(1-301-728-3894)

Feb 18/19: Encore Musical Theater, 7714 Ann Arbor St, Dexter, MI,48130, (1-734-268-6200)

Feb 20: Nnamdi Art Center, 52 E. Forest, Ave. MI.48201, (1-313-831-8700)

Feb 25: Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. Chicago, IL. 60615, (1-312-801-2100)

We are coming into Chicago and rehearsing at Colabrynth, 2500 S. Sawyer Ave. Chicago, IL. 60623 Feb 20 through Feb 21 and recording the project Feb 22/23.

The EHE will be available for any interviews (Radio, remote, online, TV, Blog, etc.), and can also potentially make special appearances in record shops in the above aforementioned cities if needed? This would be a great time to execute another round of pitch promotion to increase sales for our Be Known LP during this tour!


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