Kahil El'Zabar

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Kahil El'Zabar
Kahil El'Zabar.jpg
Background information
Born (1953-11-11) November 11, 1953 (age 69)
Chicago, Illinois
Afro-Cuban jazz
Free jazz
Instrument(s)Percussion, Drum kit

Kahil El'Zabar (born Clifton Blackburn; November 11, 1953) is an American jazz multi-instrumentalist (mainly a percussionist) and composer. He regularly records for Delmark Records.[1]

Life and work[edit]

El'Zabar was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Lake Forest College and joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 1970s, and became its chairman in 1975.[2] During the 1970s, he formed the musical groups Ritual Trio and the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, both of which remain active. Musicians with whom Kahil EL'Zabar has collaborated include Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Simon, Pharoah Sanders, and Billy Bang.

In 2017 the film "Be Known - The Mystery of Kahil El Zabar" by filmmaker Dwayne Johnson-Cochran was released. The documentary follows El' Zabar and band on their 2007 Black History Month tour. The film has been available on Amazon Prime.


As leader/co-leader[edit]

With Ethnic Heritage Ensemble

With Ritual Trio

With Tri-Factor

As sideman[edit]

With David Murray

With Wadada Leo Smith


  1. ^ Kahil El'Zabar at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Biography". Official Site of Kahil EL'Zabar. Retrieved 2007-05-24.

External links[edit]