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Monday February 24th 2020

07:30 PM until 10:00 PM

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Patrick Breiner & Ben Opie

free jazz and improv
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh 605 Morewood Ave Pittsburgh
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Mon Feb 24 7:30 pm $20 advance/$25 door all ages welcome
First Unitarian Church, Morewood & Ellsworth Aves., Shadyside
(please do not call the church office) info line: 412-682-0591

The AACM Lives! EHE Raise the Spirit Tour 2020 featuring
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble from Chicago, IL
Sir Kahil El Zabar (percussion, kalimba, vocals)
Corey Wilkes (trumpet) [played with Art Ensemble of Chicago]
and Alex Harding (saxophone) [from the touring musical FELA!]

with special guests Patrick J Breiner and Ben Opie

tickets on sale now: Jerry's Records (Squirrel Hill), Caliban Books (Oakland), Clothes Minded (Bloomfield) and The Government Center (North Side).

The legendary Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has toured internationally as well as recorded innumerable celebrated projects over the past 47 years. They are 21st Century Griots, making Great Black Music for the mind, body and spirit.

Their 2019 touring season was kicked off with Amazon Prime’s world premier of the EHE’s international award winning feature film documentary, “Be Known!”. The film was executive produced by super star actors Angela Bassett and Courtney Vance and directed by Dwayne Johnson Cochran.


Kahil El'Zabar regularly records for Delmark Records, but also has releases on the Sound Aspects, Moers, Leo, Silkheart, Black Saint, Katalyst, DIW and Nessa labels.

He attended Lake Forest College, joining the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 1970s, and becoming its chairman in 1975. During the 1970s, he formed the musical groups Ritual Trio and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, both of which remain active.

Musicians with whom Kahil EL'Zabar has collaborated include Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Simon, Pharoah Sanders, David Murray, Billy Bang, Fred Hopkins, Fareeq Haque, Archie Shepp, Wadada Leo Smith, and most of the members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

In 2017 the film "Be Known - The Mystery of Kahil El Zabar" by filmmaker Dwayne Johnson-Cochran was released. The documentary follows El' Zabar & band on their 2007 Black History Month tour. The film is currently available on Amazon Prime.


Corey Wilkes has established himself as one of the best improvising trumpeters in the modern era. Having the skill and maturity to approach mainstream repertoire of jazz standards with his own unique sensibilities, he combines them with his deep appreciation of hip-hop. Corey continues to bring his brand of musicianship and talent to the forefront of the genre.

As a child, growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Wilkes was surrounded by the sounds of Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk and Jazz. His hard work and dedication secured him a spot in the Illinois All State Honors Jazz Combo; first student in the school's history to do so.

Corey has also shared the stage with numerous jazz masters including Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, James Moody, Kurt Elling, Von Freeman, Greg Osby, Roscoe Mitchell, Marcus Belgrave, Clark Terry, Harry “Sweets” Edison and Mulgrew Miller. His soulful notes can be heard gracing a variety of contemporary projects including sets by DJ Logic, Osunlade and Josh Deep; tracks on Hidden Beach Recordings Presents: Unwrapped Vol. 4, Kahil El Zabar’s Ascension Loft Series as well as Nona Hendryx, Soulive, Me'shell Ndegocello and Ledisi.


A powerful and innovative saxophonist, Harding’s musical expression and the dynamism of his performance touches the human spirit and soul. He played with Wynton Marsalis and Donald Byrd while still in high school.

After settling in New York in 1993, Alex joined Julius Hemphill’s Saxophone Sextet. He also began performing with Muhal Richard Abrams, Craig Harris, Lester Bowie, Frank Lacey, Oliver Lake and David Murray’s Big Band. In 1996, Alex joined Hamiet Bluiett’s Baritone Group and appeared with the Mingus Big Band, Jayne Cortez Firespitters and Lester Bowie’s Hip-Hop Philharmonic. He also recorded with Greg Osby, Frank Lowe, David Lee Roth and Rodney Whittaker.

The following year, Alex recorded At Doctor King’s Table with the Julius Hemphill Sextet, a CD with Hamiet Bluiett’s Baritone Group, and he made his debut with the Sun Ra Arkestra under Marshall Allen’s leadership. In 1998, Alex was part of the Sun Ra All-Star Project that premiered at the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival. More recently Alex has performed with the Roy Hargrove Big Band and with Aretha Franklin. Alex Harding has recorded several CD's for the CIMP label and since 2008 he has performed on Broadway and toured with the Tony Award winning show FELA!

Added by Geoffrey Maddock

Related Entities: First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh

Tags: Free-jazz Jazz

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with Patrick Breiner & Ben Opie