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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Art by @zjarime, courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, October 22, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to welcome trombonist Abdulrahman Amer and his Ba Akhu project back to our stage for two sets. In a previous interview with Jazz Speaks, Amer talked about the meaning of band’s name:

It’s a combination of ancient Egyptian words—I’m Egyptian, it’s part of my heritage, and I’ve been exploring my ancient people. Ba is the term that refers to our physical container, and Akhu is about existing beyond any container, everything touching everything, no divisions. One beautiful thing about [the band members], and why they resonate with me and my vision, is that I hope for people to find the freedom to leave their container by staying true to themselves. To destroy any concept of division through acceptance, empathy, understanding, loving people who hate. We’re trying to combat the toxins that have developed over so many years of pain and harshness. We need people who are in tune with themselves in order to bring that kind of humility and honesty to the bandstand. That’s something I want people to come to terms with: Embracing vulnerability and accepting humility is part of the process of growth, the process of finding your most true and beautiful self.

For this week’s performance at the Gallery, Amer is presenting a new set of compositions exploring notions of freedom and restriction, inspired by an epigraph of the poet Rumi: “One of the marvels of the world is the sight of a soul sitting in prison with the key in its hand.” While Ba Akhu was originally formed as a quartet, Amer has expanded his palette to a full ten-piece group, complete with doubling woodwind players like Jasper Dutz and Nicola Caminiti. Don’t miss this performance of an ambitious and emotionally-probing new work.

Abdulrahman Amer and Ba Akhu play The Jazz Gallery on Thursday, October 22, 2019. The group features Mr. Amer on trombone, euphonium. and composition; Evan Abounassar on trumpet; Nicola Caminiti on alto saxophone & flute; Sergio Tabanico on tenor saxophone ; Jasper Dutz on bass clarinet & flute ; Juan Diego Viallalobos on vibraphone; Matthew Malanowski on piano; Solomon Gottfried on bass; Kweku Sumbry on percussion; and Jonguk Kim on drums. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30 P.M. $15 general admission (FREE for members), $20 reserved table seating ($10 for members) for each set. Purchase tickets here.