Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series

Chicago Jazz Legends Kahil El'Zabar and Hamiet Bluiett

Erie, PA, November 06, 2009 --( The Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series presents a special workshop and concert by the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble members Kahill El’Zabar and Hamiet Bluiett on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 at the Erie Art Museum’s Main Gallery, 411 State Street. The workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. and the concert at 8 p.m.

Admission to this workshop and concert is Free; suggested donation $10.

After 35 years, the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble is still serving their special brand of 21st century Griot music to people worldwide. The Chicago Tribune writes the trio is “harmonically provocative and rhythmically seductive,” and they consistently deliver jazz that combines ancestral wisdom, exploratory improvisation, and crack musicianship.

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was formed shortly after percussionist El'Zabar graduated from the school of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1976. He teamed up with tenor saxophonist Edward Wilkerson, Jr. to play music that combined contemporary African American musical styles, like jazz, with more traditional African instrumentation and rhythms. The duo would frequently grow to a trio in these first years, adding musicians like saxophonist Light Henry Huff and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. In 1988, they added trombonist and conga player Joseph Bowie, who is the leader of the jazz-funk group Defunkt. In 1997, Wilkerson was replaced by Ernest "Khabeer" Dawkins who is the leader of New Horizons Ensemble.

To learn more about the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, visit

About the Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series
Celebrating over 20 years of great music, the Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series is a highly regarded performance series that includes some of the most creative, adventurous and accomplished musicians of our era. The Erie Art Museum brings exciting new music from nationally and internationally renowned artists to Erie each year, encompassing a wide variety of jazz, blues and world music.

The Contemporary Music Series is sponsored by Connoisseur Media.

For additional information, call (814) 459-5477 or visit

Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche