The Afro-Semitic Experience is saddened by the events in Ferguson, Missouri. We mourn the killing of Michael Brown and we are troubled by the violence that has been inflicted upon the community.  We are reminded once again that the Civil Rights movement is far from over and that this nation is in need of an ongoing dialogue on race, bigotry and unity in the community.  As musicians there is only so much we can do.  But do it we shall.  We are healers. And so we share this link to a piece dedicated to healing. Healing in Ferguson. Healing in the United States of America.  Healing wherever there is strife of any kind. Plea for Peace.

More music from the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival 

Here's another video of the Afro-Semitic Experience from the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.  This video from the festival is a story about the band and an interview with Warren Byrd and David Chevan that was aired on the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting network.

And here's a link to a video of the band playing Warren and David's composition, Adon Olam, at the Atlanta festival.  Drummer Alvin Carter gives a most erudite introduction. Enjoy!!

Afro-Semitic Experience in Atlanta 

The Afro-Semitic Experience is coming off of a pretty busy Spring concert season as we promote and perform music from our new CD, Jazz Souls on Fire.  We began our season with a visit to Atlanta where we performed at the Weber School and at the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.

There's a nice video on YouTube of our performance at the Weber School.  Take a look:

Everyone sounds great.  Saskia Laroo's trumpet playing is outstanding and she and Will Bartlett are making a pretty awesome team out front.

We also played the opening night of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. Here's a clip from YouTube of us from the Festival.

What a trip that was. David Chevan sounds great on bass and Warren is as hot as can be on the keys.  Alvin Carter, Jr. locks it all down on the drum kit. Enjoy the videos and the great sounds. In our next post we'll have some photos from our trip to California!!


The Afro-Semitic Experience is proud to announce the release of its ninth CD, Jazz Souls on Fire.  Jazz Souls on Fire pays tribute to some of the Afro-Semitic Experience's  favorite composers, ones whose own creativity inspired that of the members of the group. On this recording we visit pieces by Leon Thomas, Duke Ellington, Hank Mobley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and others. We honor their music, forged out of the struggles from which they emerged, lighting a way for us. It brings us back to the groove and passion of blowing, dancing, and soaring freely in sound and spirit—it brings us back to our musical roots.
In support of Jazz Souls on Fire, which comes out on Thursday, March 20, the Afro-Semitic Experience is giving CD release concerts in Atlanta and Northern California. 

Thursday, March 20 Atlanta Jewish Music Festival opening night concert at Steve’s Live Music, 234 Hilderbrand Drive NE, Sandy Springs GA 30328, sets at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.
          for tickets and more info please visit

Friday, March 21 7:30 p.m., Congregation Beth Shalom, 4746 El Camino Ave, Carmichael, CA
          for more info please visit

Saturday, March 22 Berkeley Jewish Music Festival 8:00 pm, at Freight and Salvage, 2020 Addison St, Berkeley, CA
          for tickets and more info please visit

Sunday, March 23 4:00 p.m. reception, 5:00 concert at Temple Isaiah, 945 Risa Rd, Lafayette, CA
          for tickets and more info please visit

Future CD release events are being planned including concerts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Hamden, Connecticut, and will be announced shortly.


The Afro-Semitic Experience visited Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia for an outdoor performance on September 11.  We honored the memories of those who had fallen on that day and celebrated our ancestors.  The band played music that covered our entire repertoire, from the beginning of the group to the music from our forthcoming CD, "Jazz Souls on Fire," in all the group played for over two hours.
Noted jazz photographer Mark Robbins was at the show and he shared some of his photos with the band.  He's got a great eye for musicians and how they express themselves in their music.  Thanks to Mark for allowing us to post these photos on our site.  Mark Robbins' web site is:
Please visit it and support his great work.
Here are some of Mark's photos from the concert:
Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Alvin Carter, Jr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

The Afro-Semitic Experience Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Will Bartlett Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Warren Byrd Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Stacy Phillips Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

David Chevan Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

David, Warren and Alvin Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

David Will and Alvin Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Warren Byrd and David Chevan Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. and Stacy Phillips Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Alvin Carter, Jr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Abu, Will and Stacy Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography

Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. Old Dominion University Mark Robbins Photography


The Afro-Semitic Experience played in the park by Mitchell Library in the Westville section of New Haven this past Monday.  A good crowd turned out and there was a lot of dancing and celebration.  Warren sang many of the songs that we are working on for our new CD and in general we had a blast.

David Sepulveda of the New Haven Indepedent shared some of his photos of the concert with us.  Here are some of our favorites from the night:

The Road that Heals the Splintered Soul

dancing to the sounds of the Afro-Semitic Experience

The band broke into a Klezmer tune and it seemed like the entire audience got up in a circle and started dancing.  It was a beautiful sight.

Happy concert goers enjoying a great evening.
 There was a good turnout for the event--it seemed like every community in New Haven was represented.

 Saskia Laroo, our amazing trumpet player, never lets anything stand in the way of giving a good performance (she forgot her music stand, but that did not stop her for one second).

 Warren sounded great both on keyboard and in his singing.  He was in the zone that night.  You can see how relaxed and intense he looks.

 The dancing was such a great part of the night.  And everyone in New Haven knows that when this guy is at a show there WILL BE DANCING!!

Alvin Carter, Jr. and Alvin Carter, Sr.--the heartbeat of the band

Thanks again to David Sepulveda for documenting this magical night of music and community


The Afro-Semitic Experience performed in the Sunken Garden at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley, Massachusetts on June 19.  The Sunken Garden is a beautiful setting for music and long time friend of the band, Julie Chevan (and our bass player's wife!!) took some great photos of the group.

The band arrived to find Art Steele, their long time friend, sound-man, and local blues guitar legend hard at work getting things ready for the band to play. 

Everyone quickly got to work setting up instruments and equipment.  Here's Saskia, Abu, and Alvin getting their gear ready for the concert.  Isn't this a great setting for a concert?

Here's the band during the sound check:

After the sound check David's parents prepared a vegetrian feast for the band.  Here's Will and Abu munching on some of the delicious salads.  And below that is a shot of David with his mom.  Thanks for all the good food!!

Before the band began playing Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. gave a benediction and blessing for the performance.

After Abu's benediction the band began to play--and what a night and what a setting!!  Some great music for a receptive and joyous audience of all ages.

Will Bartlett, David Chevan and Saskia Laroo

Saskia Laroo, Abu Alvin Carter, Sr., Warren Byrd, and Alvin Carter, Jr.
What a night!  Many thanks to Susan Lisk and her staff for a good night in a beautiful setting.


Earlier this month the Afro-Semitic Experience had a great time playing at the New Britain Museum of American Art.  (By the way the current exhibit of the works of Toulouse Lautrec is great!)  Everyone was in such great spirits.  There was loads of dancing and we had a pretty incredible Klezmer jam.  Just a great night from beginning to end.
One of the staff, Long Lin, sent us some great photos from the evening.  THANKS LONG!! And thanks to everyone at the New Britain Museum of American Art. We are planning to come back next year for even more fun.

 Here are some highlights from the night:

Will Bartlett soloing

Saskia completely got in synch with this couple who must have danced the entire night

Go Saskia!!

This couple had some moves!

Will blowing on tenor

Stacy Phillips on lap steel

Abu Alvin Carter laying it down on the congas: a real drum master

Saskia Laroo!!

Abu Alvin Carter making it sweet and funky

Alvin Carter, Jr. on drum set Abu Alvin Carte, Sr. on percussion what a team!

David Chevan

Band Co-Founder Warren Byrd singing and playing

Warren singing that thing!

Afro-Semitic Experience--Will Bartlett soloing

Afro-Semitic Experience--the whole band is GETTING DOWN!

David Chevan singing and walking

Photos from The Afro-Semitic Experience concert in White Plains at the Hebrew Institute 

The Afro-Semitic Experience
had a great performance last weekend at the Hebrew Institute in White Plains. The band played a show that lasted just over two hours and included music for Hanukkah as well as a touching tribute to the victims of the Newtown Massacre.  Warren Byrd sang up a storm and his rendition of the 23rd Psalm (in memory of the Newtown Massacre victims) brought the room to tears.
Leah, the band's new friend shot some video snippets of the concert and posted them on YouTube. Click here (Afro-Semitic Experience at the Hebrew Institute) to get to that video. Thanks Leah!!!

Leah also sent the band some great photos of the performance. Here's the group at sound check.

And here's a shot of of Abu Alvin Carter, Sr.  at his congas. Go Abu!!

Will is getting down on the clarinet. Everyone is pretty focused here.

Stacy Phillips laying into his violin. Go Stacy!!
Alvin Carter, Jr., Abu Alvin Carter, Sr., and Stacy Phillips
A shot of the band singing the last part of the "Road That Heals the Splintered Soul." You can almost hear Alvin's mellifluous baritone voice coming through the photo!!

Warren Byrd--singing and playing

Will Bartlett bringing it on the tenor sax!!

David Chevan laying down the lines on the bass.  Oh, slap that thing!!!

The heartbeat and drumbeat of the Afro-Semitic Experience-- Alvin Carter, Jr. on drum set and Abu Alvin Carter on percussion!!

Nothing compares to the good feeling of a well played two hour show

Abu Alvin Carter, Sr. shares a final blessing with the audience

Dec. 15, 2012 This is the Afro-Semitic Experience!!
Warren Byrd, Alvin Carter, Jr., David Chevan, Will Bartlett, Stacy Phillips, and Abu Alvin Carter, Sr.
Thanks again to Leah for sharing these great photos with the band.  See y'all at our next show!!