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Ishmael Ali's Zebec Comes To Columbus

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by Andrew Patton on November 24, 2014

Guitarist, composer, and Columbus native Ishmael Ali will bring his Zebec quintet to Columbus for two shows this week. In the middle of a 7-date jaunt that started this weekend in the group’s homebase of Chicago, Zebec will play a Jazz Wednesday show at Brothers Drake on November 26th, followed by a show at Dicks Den on Monday, December 1st. The shows will present slightly different lineups: Both shows will feature Ali on guitar, Billy Wolfe on tenor sax, Mike Humpherys on bass, and Matthiesen Nisch Quan on drums. The band at Brothers Drake will include David Fletcher on trombone, however, while Fletcher will be replaced at Dick’s by tenor saxophonist Thom Caminito, and Wolfe will add the clarinet to his arsenal for that show. The setlists for both shows will be made up mostly of tunes from Zebec’s self-titled debut (released in September), the Ishmael Ali Septet album Six By Seven (released in August), and arrangements of songs from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s One Hundred Twenty Three Duets. More info on Zebec and Ali follows:

Zebec was formed in early 2014 with the goal of writing and performing original instrumental improvised music. The group is led by guitarist and composer Ishmael Ali Zghoul and consists of jazz musicians living in the Chicago area. The project is dedicated to exploring collaborative improvisation and free jazz, as well as compositional and aesthetic concepts of the avant garde. Their recent ventures include a self titled album released in September 2014 and a tour through the Midwest in late November/early December.

Ishmael Ali Zghoul is a guitarist and composer currently residing in Chicago, Illinois. He is originally from Columbus, Ohio where he studied music at Capital University, graduating with a B.A. in Music and a minor in Art History. There, he studied under some wonderful musicians including master guitarist Stan Smith. Ishmael has performed at many venues and stages in Ohio including the Columbus Community Festival (ComFest), the Newport Music Hall, Stella Blue in Archbold, and at the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus. He was also commissioned to write a new score for the silent film Nosferatu (1923), which he performed with a septet at Grandview Theater in October 2012.

Ishmael relocated to Chicago in the fall of 2013 to pursue his master’s degree in Jazz Studies with a focus on composition at DePaul University, which will be completed in June 2015. His current projects include Zebec, a quintet that plays original music as well as music from Dr. Yusef Lateef’s One Hundred Twenty Three Duets, the Ali-Humpherys Duo which performs weekly at Café Bella, and a Septet that Ishmael also writes for.

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