The Stanford Jazz Workshop will be honoring Jazz Legend Khalil Shaheed with a Tribute and FUNraiser at his performance at the Festival on July 19, 2010 at 7:30 pm. Khalil will be honored by the U. S. Congress, State of California, City of Oakland, and Masjidul Waritheen.
Khalil will perform at the Festival with his group “Mo’Rockin Project” Featuring: Bouchaib Abdelhadi, vocals/dembek; Yassir Chadly- Imam at Masjid al-Iman Oakland, vocals/gembre/oud; Richard Howell, saxophone; Khalil Shaheed, trumpet; Glen Pearson, piano; Ron Belcher, bass; Deszon Claiborne, drums.
The event is being arranged by Gabrielle Wilson and Associates with the Aaron & Margaret Wallace Foundation where recently KPFA Host Doug Edwards and Ms. Wilson hosted Khalil Shaheed on “Music of the World”.Khalil directs the Oaktown Jazz Workshop two afternoons a week, runs the instrumental music program at Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, serves as an artist-in-residence at the Oakland School of Music, and rehearsing and performing with three ensembles: the Khalil Shaheed Quartet (often including his daughter, Savannah Harris, 16, on drums), the jazz-meets-Moroccan music group cleverly named Mo’Rockin Project, and Redwood Brass, a four-trumpet, one-trombone quintet that mixes jazz and classical music.
The first time Bay Area trumpet master Khalil Shaheed listened to cassettes of North African melodies given to him by Moroccan singer and multi-instrumentalist Yassir Chadly, he had a sudden insight: “They ain’t playin’ nothin’ but the blues!” This revelation showed Shaheed the common ground that his own roots in jazz and blues shared with the soulful, ancient musical traditions of North Africa.
No matter where it comes from, great music can fortify the soul and bring people together. In the Mo’Rockin’ Project, a septet co-led by Shaheed and Chadly, the excitement of a funky horn section and heartfelt jazz improvisation unite with the sublime sounds of Islamic devotional music and traditional Arabic and African instruments. The result is a remarkable fusion that captures the essence of two cultures and delivers the best of both worlds, conjuring up “how Marvin Gaye might have sounded fronting Abdullah Ibrahim’s band” according to East Bay Express.
Without being overtly political, the energetic, funky music they create dispels misconceptions about American and Islamic traditions, and exemplifies the beauty that can be created when two cultures come together in the spirit of celebration, communication, and love. Describing the Mo’Rockin’ Project’s sound, bluesman Taj Mahal said it best: “There isn’t a vehicle made by man on Earth or space that can give you this beautiful a ride!”