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The Afro-Semitic Experience comes to West Hartford

The Afro-Semitic Experience, an American jazz band that merges Jewish and Afro-diasporic melodies, will headline a musical evening at the Autorino Center for the Arts and Humanities on the University of Saint Joseph’s West Hartford campus, on Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.

The Afro-Semitic Experience, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary, often moves from Klezmer to hard bop in the same piece, giving the group’s music the feel of both a synagogue and an African American church.

Founded in 1998 by Hartford-based pianist Warren Byrd and New Haven-based bassist David Chevan, the Afro-Semitic Experience was born 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 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. The band has recorded eight albums and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, France, and Holland.

The Afro-Semitic Experience has been working with the Autorino Center to develop the Healing World Project, a band of refugees and recent immigrants who are living in Connecticut. The Healing World Project will debut new music as part of this performance.

For more information: (860) 231-5555 or visit tickets.usj.edu. Tickets are $15-30.

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