David Murray / Kahil El’Zabar Duo | Ars Nova Workshop
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David Murray / Kahil El’Zabar Duo

June 14, 2019

Nearly a year to the date from their last sold-out Philadelphia appearance, David Murray and Kahil El’Zabar return to deliver a mesmerizing set of what Buffalo’s Hallwalls space described as “freedom music in its noblest sense, meant to heal and release one from the propaganda of fear currently poisoning our culture.”

David Murray arrived on the mid-70s New York loft-jazz scene as a Pomona College dropout with a furious sax style that also accommodated more lyrical moments from bygone eras of jazz. Simply put, Murray helped carve out a space in the avant garde for tenderness and extend the language of bebop into more volatile territories. The Guggenheim and Grammy award-winning multi-reedist co-founded the World Saxophone Quartet with Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, and Hamiet Bluiett, and he solidified his status as a modern jazz icon on landmark recordings with James “Blood” Ulmer, Amiri Baraka, and Jack DeJohnette, as well as his own ensembles. Murray currently splits his time between Paris and Portugal.

Chicago-based percussionist Kahil El’Zabar’s expansive approach to rhythm straddles the line between “ancient and future.” As founder of the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and former chairman of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), El’Zabar has sought to not only understand the roots of traditional African rhythms but also explore new avenues to take them down. El’Zabar’s chaotic personal life was the subject of childhood friend Dwayne Johnson-Cochran’s 2017 documentary “Be Known: The Mystery of Kahil El’Zabar.”

Cover: David Murray
Friday, June 14


  • Performance

Program Info

$20 General Admission
21 & Over


  • David Murray – reeds
  • Kahil El’Zabar – drums + percussion


Philadelphia, PA