09/25/13 By Mark Robbins
Afro-Semitic Experience at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
The Days of Awe: Music of Memory and Celebration
Co-founded in 1998 by keyboardist Warren Byrd and bassist Dave Chevan,for a Dr. Martin Luther King memorial service, The Afro-Semitic Experience is simmering stew of Funk, Soul, Jazz, Klezmer, Spirituals, Nigunim, and more served up in healthy doses by six master chefs as diverse as the music they play. Along with Chevan and Byrd are Abu Alvin Carter, Sr., conga player and elder statesman of the group, Alvin Carter, Jr. on drums, Will Bartlett-reeds, and Stacy Phillips as adept on violin as he is on the lap guitar. The group performed outside on a warm Indian summer afternoon to an audience composed mostly of college students. Combining the joyful and sometime mournful sounds of African-American spirituals and Jewish prayers, the listeners were treated to a soulful funky cultural history lesson that hopefully will stay them for a long, long time.
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