Monday, April 11, 2011

Jabari Exum and the Train of Thought

Yesterday I heard my good friend and fellow BloomBars Artist-in-Resident Jabari Exum perform his piece "One Voice" at Sankofa Books on Georgia Ave, a wonderful and positive bookstore, the existence of which I had been completely ignorant about until today. Below is a video of Jabari performing one of the pieces from the show - the piece I want to highlight starts about 3:00 into this video.

This music is important and people need to be going to hear it. When Jabari premiered this show at BloomBars two weeks ago I had to go twice, I was that impressed. He really is one of the true gems of the DC music community, as a percussionist and as an MC. He doesn't have a website up for this project, but at the end of this post you'll find the dates of future performances - the next one I'll make is probably April 17th, but they will all be amazing.

Of course, this post is not just an excuse to promote my friends, it's also an excuse to show off the music I've made with them. 

Gary and Jabari BloomBars October 2009 Track 1 by Gary Prince

Jabari and I play most regularly together these days in the context of backing up Grammy-Nominated Artist Carolyn Malachi, with whom I'll be performing at The Kennedy Center on May 8th, more on that later. For a while before we started playing with Carolyn, Jabari and I used to get together somewhat regularly to improvise guitar/djembe duets. This track is from the only time we did such a performance live - John Chambers, who founded and owns BloomBars, and happens to be my next door neighbor, pressured us into it. My tuning is a little, shall we say, 'rustic', but I don't think it detracts too severely from this particular recording, which is a free improvisation. I'm playing my Ibanez. There is a video too, combining footage from this performance with a session we had in my living room the previous day - check it out here. John literally walked into my house while we were playing and sat on the couch filming us without my noticing. That's what I get for leaving my door unlocked.

There's one more track of this music that I want to put up, but rather than letting this post get outta hand, I'm going to save it for a few days. Stay tuned.

"The Train of Thought" by Jabari Exum upcoming performance dates

April 12 9:30 pm Ben's Next Door
April 17 4:30 pm Sankofa Books
April 24 4:30 pm Sankofa Books
May 28th 7:30 pm ECAC

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