Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

We got a good night's sleep and started over again at Kilbourn Hall. The acoustics here are great if they don't try putting a mic on everything like they seemed to do this year for some reason. Anyway, the sound was perfect tonight for The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and they were in full control. Kahil El'Zabar leads the trio on drums, percussion, chanting and thumb piano. The sax player was great but the trumpet player, Corey Wilkes, was the best musician we saw the whole festival. He has apparently taken the late Lester Bowie's chair in the Art Ensemble. They dedicated songs to the great Ornette Coleman and the even more undersung Malachi Favors (former bass player with the Art Ensemble of Chicago). El'Zabar created deep grooves for the two horn players to play pretty melodies over and there was all sorts of room for solos. They closed with Corey playing two horns at once and the sax player with two saxes in his mouth. This may have been the best night of the Festival. - photo by P Doddy - click photo to advance > next