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Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series Celebrates Black History Month

Erie, PA, February 01, 2008 --( The Erie Art Museum Contemporary Music Series will present a series of Black History Month performances during the month of February in the Erie Art Museum’s Annex, 423 State Street.

Admission to all concerts is free; suggested donation $10.

Burkina Electric
Burkina Electric will be in concert at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street, on February 10, 2008 at 3 p.m.

Burkina Electric, a band of four musicians and two dancers is the first electronica band from Burkina Faso in West Africa. The band challenges the convention of most dance music and uses different rhythms, equally danceable, but rarely heard. The group also creates new rhythms influenced by traditional grooves and uses sounds of traditional instruments, found sounds and soundscapes they’ve recorded in unusual ways.

Mai Lingani, a star in Burkina Faso, is the lead singer. Wende K. Blass, one of Burkina’s premier guitarists, contributes soulful guitar melodies. Electronica and percussion are provided by New York-based composer Lukas Ligeti and Pyrolator, one of Germany’s most inventive pop musicians.

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble
Ethnic Heritage Ensemble will be in concert at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street, on February 17 at 3 p.m.

For 30 years, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble has combined contemporary jazz with traditional African rhythms. This all- star group of creative jazz legends from Chicago are all band leaders in their own right: Kahil El’Zabar, drums, earth drums, kalimba; Corey Wilkes, trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion; Ernest Dawkins, alto and tenor saxophone, percussions; Fareed Haque, electric and acoustic guitar.

Down Beat describes Ethnic Heritage as “the forms being advanced here – or at least merged in a creative, new way – are African American syncopation (funk, jazz) and the vertically integrated multiple parts of the African drum ensemble music. With folkish simplicity and beguilingly subdued dynamics, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – drums, guitar and two horns – achieves an effect something like an ad hoc percussion band walking the second line, with a little James Brown.

Rachel Z Trio
The Rachel Z Trio will be in concert at the Erie Art Museum Annex, 423 State Street, on February 21 at 8 p.m.

Rachel Z and her piano trio mesmerized audiences at the Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival in 2003. She’ll play to a more intimate crowd along with Bobby Rae on drums and Maeve Royce on bass.

Manhattan born and raised Rachel Nicolazzo began with voice lessons at age two and classical piano lessons by the age of seven. A versatile and extremely gifted piano player, Rachel has performed with Peter Gabriel, Al DiMeloa, Steps Ahead, Lenny White and Stanley Clarke. Her collaboration with Wayne Shorter on his comeback album High Life resulted in a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

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

Contact Information
Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche

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