50 years of touring. One indelible new album. A City of Asylum debut.
We are honored to welcome the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble to the Alphabet City stage as part of their 50th annual February North American Tour in honor of Black History Month. This legendary trio, lead by Kahil El’Zabar, will be touring with their new album, Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound and Spirit, out March 8th On Spiritmuse Records. Open Me is a joyous honoring of portent new directions of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. It’s a visionary journey into deep roots and future routes, channeling traditions old and new. It mixes Kahil El’Zabar’s original compositions with timeless classics by Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and Eugene McDaniels. Thus, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble continues affirming their indelible, half-century presence within the continuum of Great Black Music.
You can listen to the album’s lead single “Compared to What” on YouTube.
About the Band:
The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (EHE) was founded by Kahil El’Zabar in 1974 originally as a quintet, but was soon paired down to its classic form — a trio, featuring Kahil on multi-percussion and voice, plus two horns. It was an unusual format, even by the standards of the outward-bound musicians of the AACM. With Kahil at the helm, the band’s line-up has always been open to changes, and over the years the EHE has welcomed dozens of revered musicians including Light Henry Huff, Kalaparusha Maurice Macintyre, Joseph Bowie, Hamiett Bluiett, and Craig Harris. The current line-up has been consolidated over two decades — trumpeter Corey Wilkes entered the circle twenty years ago, while baritone sax player Alex Harding joined seven years ago, after having played with Kahil since the early 2000s in groups such as Joseph Bowie’s Defunkt. Open Me, Kahil’s sixth collaboration with Spiritmuse in five years, marks another entry in a run of critically acclaimed recordings that stretch back to the first EHE recording in 1981. The storied multi-percussionist, composer, fashion designer, and former Chair of the Association of Creative Musicians (AACM) is in what might be the most productive form of his career, and now in his seventies, shows no signs of slowing down. Few creative music units can boast such longevity, and fewer still are touring as energetically and recording with the verve of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble.
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