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Kahil El'Zabar and his ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE To Play at The Encore Stage

The concert Modern Jazz Meets Musical Theatre is set to play on February 18th and 19th.

Kahil El'Zabar and his ETHNIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE To Play at The Encore Stage

The incomparable Khalil El'Zabar and his award-winning Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (EHE), in collaboration with The Encore Musical Theatre Company, is bringing a one-of-a-kind, live music event to The Encore stage this February. Modern Jazz Meets Musical Theatre, which coincides with Black History Month, will appeal to both jazz aficionados and musical theatre fans alike.

Modern Jazz Meets Musical Theatre runs for two performances only, Feb. 18th and 19th at 7:30pm, at The Encore Musical Theatre Company. Tickets for this event are $40 and can be purchased (along with all remaining Season 13 productions) online by clicking here, through the box office (no fee) by calling 734-268-6200, or in-person at The Encore Musical Theatre Company, 7714 Ann Arbor Street, Dexter, MI 48130. Box office hours are currently Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10AM to Noon.

"This will be a truly unique musical experience," says Encore Artistic Director, Dan Cooney, "an exciting fusion of Avant Garde jazz and the American Musical Theatre Song Book, and we are thrilled to be able to bring it here, to the Dexter and Ann Arbor communities."

In fact, El'Zabar is no stranger to the musical theatre world, having previously scored arrangements for the Broadway production of The Lion King. Past collaborations include such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and Nina Simone. Joining El'Zabar and his Ensemble for this event will be Broadway artists Michael McElroy and Jessica Grové, plus LA's "Godfather of Spiritual Jazz," Dwight Trible.

The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble itself is an assembly of jazz masters that includes Detroit native Alex Harding on baritone saxophone, Chicago native Corey Wilkes on trumpet, led by El'Zabar, a multi-instrumentalist and percussionist. Also joining the Ensemble for this special occasion will be Miguel de la Cerna on keyboards and Emma Dayhuff on acoustic bass.

Modern Jazz Meets Musical Theatre is co-produced by Steve Elliott, who introduced El'Zabar to The Encore, and to Artistic Director, Dan Cooney, during a recent visit to Ann Arbor. "Kahil was blown away by The Encore's remarkable new performance space and all-around creative energy," Elliott explains. Adds Kahil, "The energy felt so fresh and real between us, we immediately knew that we could collaborate on something unique and innovative." Cooney agrees, stating that "this event is just the beginning of an inspiring collaboration. We hope to build on this blending of jazz and musical theatre and continue to create new and unique experiences."

Currently, The Encore continues to operate at a reduced capacity. Vaccinations are required for all cast and staff members; mask and vaccinations (or a negative COVID test) for those attending performances.

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