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Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series Presents Billy Bang and Kahil El'Zabar Duo

Over the years, Bang's hard-edged tone, soulful sense of traditional swing and evocativelly expressive style has enhanced over two dozen albums by top names in a variety of genres.

Erie, PA, May 31, 2007 --( The Erie Art Museum’s Contemporary Music Series will present jazz duo Billy Bang & Kahil El’ Zabar at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street on Monday, June 11 at 8 p.m.

El'Zabar, a versatile percussionist and Bang, a violinist, make a go at the uncommon violin/percussion combination and, by way of El'Zabar's customary arsenal of percussive instruments, pull a myriad of voices from the seemingly limiting instrumentation.

Bang is one of the more prolific and original members of the progressive jazz scene. Over the past 26 years, Bang’s hard-edged tone, soulful sense of traditional swing and evocatively expressive style has enhanced over two dozen albums by top names in a variety of genres, from the blistering fund of Bootsy Collins and the harmolodic groove of Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society to the intergalactic uproar of Sun Ra. Bang also appears on more than 15 albums under his own leadership, nearly two dozen more in co-led endeavors, and five with the String Trio of New York, a band which he co-founded with guitarist James Emery and bassist John Lindberg.

El’Zabar is a leading figure in the Chicago avant-garde, and master of the African sounds of the conga drums and the kalimba (thumb piano). He fronts the Ritual Trio – named after the behavior of African folk musicians – the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and Afrocentrix, which he describes as a “21st century dance band.”

Admission is $12 for general admission, $10 for Erie Art Museum and Jazz Erie members and $6 for students and seniors.

About the Erie Art Museum
The Erie Art Museum anchors downtown Erie’s cultural and economic revitalization, occupying a group of restored mid-19th century commercial buildings, including an outstanding 1839 Greek Revival bank. It maintains an ambitious program of 15 to 18 changing exhibitions annually, embracing a wide range of subjects, both historical and contemporary and including folk art, contemporary craft, multi-disciplinary installations, community-based work, and public art as well as traditional media.

The Erie Art Museum also holds a collection of over 5,500 objects, which includes significant works in American ceramics, Tibetan paintings, Indian bronzes, contemporary baskets, and a variety of other categories.

The Museum offers a wide range of education programs and artists’ services including interdisciplinary and interactive school tours and a wide variety of classes for the community. Performing arts are showcased in the 24-year-old Contemporary Music Series, which presents national and international performers of serious music with an emphasis on composer/performers, and a popular annual two-day Blues & Jazz Festival.

For additional information on the Erie Art Museum, visit online at or call (814) 459-5477.

About the 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. Each performance is accompanied by a multi-day workshop with the performers, where they work hands-on with students and community members often in conjunction with a current exhibit.

The Contemporary Music Series is sponsored by Connoisseur Media.

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

Contact: Tammy Roche, 459-5477

Contact Information
Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche

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