Prolific musician Kahil El’Zabar has hardly gone unnoticed, but I wish every music fan knew about this living legend. The son of a drummer, El’Zabar was born Clifton Blackburn in Chicago in 1953, and raised on the city’s south side. He joined the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) at age 18, and […]
The leader of the Ritual Trio and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble is also a teacher, a connector, and an ambassador for Afrocentric jazz.
Amid Chicago’s vast pool of talent are a handful of jazz-related percussionists subject to some combination of local renown and international attention. They include Hamid Drake and Avreeayl Ra—each an integral part of the city’s most adventurous wing of astral-reaching jazz—as well as drummer Kahil El’Zabar, who’s been performing and recording since the early 70s […]