In March of 2020, Yemen Blues almost canceled one of their last pre-COVID performances in Zurich. The rest of the band didn’t make it, but Ravid Kahalani (voice, drums, gimbri, bass) and Shanir Blumenkrantz (oud, bass, guitar), the molten core of Yemen Blues, decided to do the gig anyway — as a duo — and it turned out to be one of the best performances of their lives.
Ravid Kahalani’s Yemen Blues project begins and ends with the singer’s rhapsodic voice and a Yemeni accent acquired from childhood religious singing — but everything in the middle is global, funky, and outrageous. Kahalani is part Prince, part James Brown, and his music reaches into Moroccan gnawa, Nigerian afrobeat, ecstatic jazz, and global soul. Traditional folkways and devotional song intersect effortlessly with heavy grooves and transcendental jams. If you caught them in June as part of our Collider! Picnic series, you know what we’re talking about here. This time, buckle up for an electric performance in Bombyx’s intimate sanctuary.
We’re honored to also have special guests Midwood from NYC — a psychedelic klezmer celebration of freedom and the Jewish tradition of wandering and migration. The supergroup features Jake Shulman-ment on violin (Daniel Kahn, Frank London), Yoshie Fruchter on guitar (John Zorn, Zion 80), and Florence local Richie Barshay on drums (Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, The Klezmatics).