Monday, October 25, 2010

JAZZ Workshop with Kahil El’Zabar @ AC Skopje

October 23, 2010

The American Corner Skopje had the honor to host Kahil El’Zabar a legendary Jazz musician from Chicago and performer at the Skopje Jazz festival. El’Zabar is referred to as “one of the most prolific jazz innovators of his generation”.

The charismatic musician easily kept the audience’s attention as he talked about his background and artistic family, growing up surrounded by band players and understanding music as a social experience. He introduced some of the projects he has been working on, which include the ACM School of Music – Chicago, “OOH” with Stanford and MIT, founder of the “National Freedom of Expression” as well as a title that even the youngest ones in the audience understood: “The Lion King”. Kahil described his creative process as something that comes in his dreams. When writing ethno however, it includes waiting for midnight to come then throwing fabric on the floor: “..and I actually make clothes. As I am making clothes, I start thinking about melody. In the morning, I am writing these melodies.” he explained.

When asked why he chose Jazz, he laughs that although he was very exposed to music growing up, he actually wanted to be a basketball player. Luckily, he was asked to join a band as a replacement player, and received a lot of “loving and caring” in addition to discovering his true call.
El’Zabar treated the audience with several impromptu performances during the workshop, even without his instruments - using only the power of his voice.

His opinion on the contemporary musicians is that there were so many extraordinary people in the 20th century, and their legacy are the creative people today.

There is however one thing about Skopje that Kahil El’Zabar is jealous of, and that is the full 24 hour Jazz radio station!

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