Music Program

Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

New York State Music Fund, Empire State Partnership (ESP), SUNY Fredonia, Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble


Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts (BAVPA)

Kahil El'Zabar (drums, percussion, voice)
Ernest Khabeer Dawkins (alto/tenor saxophone)
Corey Wilkes (trumpet/flugelhorn)

Hallwalls is proud to welcome the return of our long-time friends Kahil El'Zabar and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble in celebration of both their 35th anniversary and Black History Month. The EHE will spend four days in Buffalo working with students at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. They will present a concert performance at Hallwalls on Wednesday, Feb 6th and then will perform in concert with students at BAVPA on Thursday, Feb 7th in the beautiful new concert hall at BAVPA's new state-of-the-art facilities.

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble was formed 35 years ago. Kahil El'Zabar is the founder of the band and led its first performance at Child City Arts Center, in Chicago, in 1973. This was a year after he had returned from the University of Ghana. His goal was to combine concepts of African-American music making with the earlier roots of traditional African music and make it something new. After 35 years, this legendary band is still serving the people worldwide with their special brand of 21st century Griot music. The current band consists of the young trumpet titan, Corey Wilkes, along with Chicago Saxophone legend, Ernest Khabeer Dawkins and the award winning multi percussionist, vocalist, and composer, Kahil El'Zabar.

The EHE is now in the pantheon of jazz history. Few bands have lasted more than three decades and there are no signs of this illustrious ensemble slowing down. Their music conjures a spiritual journey to the inner self. It spans time through multiple expressions that transcend styles and genres. There is an extremely personal virtuosity to the EHE's way of making music. It appears simple on the surface, yet when one goes deeper in the music they are amazed at the density of form.

We are reaching out to our community worldwide in 2008, to collectively celebrate the triumph of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, in staying true to their mission. It is rare to witness such conviction and commitment in these times. This music has enormous history and incredible love. We are all here to make a difference; we must be about the work of our hearts. Living out your dream is the greatest honor one can express. The EHE is the real deal and they have truly done it their way! Let us celebrate the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble's 35th Anniversary now and forever. Aluta Continua!!

Some publications related to this event:
February, 2008 - 2008