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Ted Sirota

Ted Sirota

Drummer Ted Sirota traffics in musical diversity. On the superb Vs. the Forces of Evil (Naim), the third album by the Chicagoan’s group Rebel Souls, he tackles a dazzling variety of material, from the reggae-fueled “Tubby” to the Ornette Coleman-tinged “Dig to China” to a bold arrangement of the traditional Indonesian piece “Impengu Dek Bengikai” to the Herbie Hancock-flavored “Becky’s Bash.”

The Rebel Souls perform infrequently, so Sirota helps pay the bills by gigging, but his steady Saturday night shift at Chicago’s famous Green Mill club is more than just a job: Sabertooth is one of the city’s strongest, most multifaceted organ combos, and Sirota’s sticks are behind its funky grooves. If that’s not enough, Sirota has also been laying down the beats for one of the city’s most original up-and-coming hip-hop MCs, Diverse.

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