Afro-Semitic Experience Comes to the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities
On Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m., the Afro-Semitic Experience will headline a musical evening that will also feature musicians from the Healing World Project at the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities on the University of Saint Joseph's West Hartford campus. The Afro-Semitic Experience is an American roots jazz band with a difference; they merge Jewish and Afro-diasporic melodies and grooves, combining the core concepts of ase and shalom - power, action, unity, and peace.
The name of the group says it all: Afro-Semitic Experience. Imagine a band that smoothly and creatively moves from Klezmer to hard bop in the same piece. Imagine musicians who have found a way to play with the feel of both a synagogue and an African American church. This is roots music - soul jazz meant to move you as they make a joyful noise!
This year, the Afro-Semitic Experience is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The group was founded in 1998 by Hartford-based pianist Warren Byrd and New Haven-based bassist David Chevan. It all began when the duo was invited to play at a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial service. They thought it was going to be a one-time gig, but during the reception following the service they were asked to give more performances. As this project grew, the duo quickly expanded into a full seven-piece ensemble that could play music of almost any style from the Jewish and African American musical traditions. In so many ways the Afro-Semitic Experience is a truly American band - albeit the America of immigrants and forced migration - and it is the music of freedom that brings these musicians together. The band has recorded eight albums and given concerts throughout the United States, Canada, France, and Holland.
The Afro-Semitic Experience has been working with the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities to develop the Healing World Project, a band of refugees and recent immigrants who are living in Connecticut. The Healing World Project, supported by a grant from the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education and intended to provide intercultural experiences of entertainment and education through music, will debut new music as part of this performance.
The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) offers a wide range of coeducational undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs that combine a professional and liberal arts education with a focus on service. Undergraduate programs for both traditional and adult students take place on our beautiful suburban campus and include more than 26 majors and seven pre-professional programs, taught by expert faculty in an engaging environment. Graduate master's and doctoral degree programs are taught on the University's two campuses in West Hartford and Hartford, Connecticut; at off-campus locations throughout the state; and online. Founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy, the University of Saint Joseph welcomes students from diverse backgrounds and religious traditions. To learn more, view our website at www.usj.edu.