November 13, 2014

In partnership with the Consulate General of Israel in Philadelphia, we’re excited to announce two back-to-back concerts, Oran Etkin and Yemen Blues, presented as part of the 7th Annual Israeli JazzPhest.

Multi-instrumentalist Oran Etkin is internationally recognized for his innovative playing style and myriad musical influences. Melding age-old musical traditions from Africa, Israel, and New Orleans into one singular sound, Etkin has been called an “excellent improviser” by the New York Times and a “Woodwind Maestro” by Public Radio International.

Etkin’s chops have also landed him in the liner notes of acts like guitarist Mike Stern, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and rapper Wyclef Jean. On November 15th, Etkin will play tracks from his latest LP, Gathering Light, released via Motema Music, on April 8th, 2014.

On Gathering Light, the Grammy award winner draws inspiration from his recent tours through Indonesia, China, Japan, and Israel. In fact, the album’s title derives from an ancient story Etkin learned while traveling in Jerusalem: A story in which the light of primordial man is scattered to the corners of the world at the beginning of time. According to the 500 year old story, it’s the responsibility of humankind to gather that light and heal the world.

According to DownBeat Magazine, “What really pushes [Gathering Light] close to 5-star status is the seemingly effortless chemistry among the five musicians.” The album features musicians Nasheet Waits, Ben Allison, Curtis Fowlkes, and Lionel Loueke. Lucky for attendees of Etkin’s Painted Bride performance, Etkin will be appearing with the same lineup that created that original magic.

Led by Yemenite-born Israeli vocalist/gimbri player Ravid Kahalani Yemen Blues is made up of top-flight musicians from New York, Uruguay, Finland, and Israel. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences culminate in an ensemble hailed “one of the most exciting bands in world music right now” by Chicago Time Out.

Painted Bride Curator, Lenny Seidman says, “Imagine a cross between James Brown and Prince, but with a gritty, desert vibe.”

Playing for the third time at Painted Bride Art Center, Yemen Blues promises a high-energy fusion of blues, jazz, funk, and traditional sounds from the Middle East and North Africa. Painted Bride Curator, Lenny Seidman says, “Imagine a cross between James Brown and Prince, but with a gritty, desert vibe.” The supergroup first played the Bride’s main stage in January 2011, then again in November 2012 as part of a successful North American tour. That same year, the band made Paste Magazine’s “10 International Acts To Watch For” and headlined GlobalFEST, the most renowned world music festival in the US.

Joining Yemen Blues for their November 16th performance is keyboardist and Philly native Brian Marsella, who has accompanied the band during their recent tour through India. Mr. Marsella is no stranger to the Bride either— attendees may recognize him as keyboardist for the Fresh Cut Orchestra, or more recently, as the bandleader of his own ensemble, the Imaginarium.

Founded in 2010, Yemen Blues strives to “speak a language you will understand no matter where you come from,” according to Kahalani. “It is my origin and my influences all together as well as a meeting with this group of amazing musicians.”