The Afro-Semitic Experience is an American roots band with a difference--they merge Jewish and Afro-diasporic melodies and grooves, combining the core concepts of ase and shalom - power, action, unity, and peace.  
As legendary jazz critic, Nat Hentoff wrote “. . . never before have I heard this lyrically powerful a fusion of Jewish and jazz souls on fire. . .”   The Afro-Semitic Experience's music is described by critic Carlos Ramos as "a whoopin', hollerin', testifyin' celebration of multicultural soul music. Imagine Charles Mingus sitting in with a Klezmer band, playing Gospel music set to the polyrhythmic pace of congas and bongos." 

The name of the group says it all: Afro-Semitic Experience. Imagine a band that smoothly and creatively moves from Klezmer to hard bop in the same piece.  Imagine musicians who have found a way to play with the feel of both a synagogue and an African American church.  This is root music-- soul jazz meant to move you as they make a joyful noise!!! 

The Afro-Semitic Experience has been together for almost 17 years.  The group was founded in 1998 by pianist Warren Byrd and bassist David Chevan.  It all began when the duo were invited to play at a Martin Luther King memorial service.  They thought this was going to be a one-time gig, but during the reception following the service they had received four more performances.  And that is pretty much how it's been since then (word of mouth may be a slow way to grow a group but it is honest and real).  As this project grew the duo quickly expanded into a seven piece ensemble that could play music of almost any style from the Jewish and African American musical traditions. In so many ways the Afro-Semitic Experience is a truly American band, albeit the America of immigrants and forced migration and it is the music of freedom that brings these musicians together.  In the past sixteen years the band has recorded 8 albums and given concerts throughout the United States.

For more about The Afro-Semitic Experience please visit the band's website: or send an e-mail to


Here's the performance calendar for the Afro-Semitic Experience

Bassology at Smokin' with Chris

Smokin' with Chris, 59 West Center Street, Southington

Bassology returns to play at Smokin' with Chris in a trio format. Taylor McCoy on vocals, Chris Casey on the piano and yours truly on the bass. Great swinging jazz and barbeque, YUM!! Musicians and vocalists are welcome to sit after the first set.


David Chevan and Thomas Ice duo

Cave au Vin, 975 State Street , New Haven

I'm playing some jazz duos with my student, Thomas Ice. He's got a fiery spirit and some good musical ideas. Hope you can come by and hang out in this lovely and laid back space. The perfect place to unwind before the holidays.


Nu Haven Kapelye Annual Hanukkah Party!!!

East Rock Concert Series - mActivity Sitting Room, 285 Nicoll Street, New Haven

. It’s the first night of Hanukkah!! Come join us as The Nu Haven Kapelye presents our annual Hanukkah Concert and Party. This year it will be presented as a part of the East Rock Concert Series at the mActivity sitting room, located 285 Nicoll Street, New Haven, Connecticut. Join us for Hanukkah songs, dreydl games and more. For tickets and more please click on the link provided to us by the East Rock Concert Series:


Annual December 25th Family Concert featuring the Nu Haven Kapelye

Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Road, Hamden, CT 06517

The Nu Haven Kapelye presents our annual December 25 Family concert at Congregation Mishkan Israel 785 Ridge Road, Hamden, Connecticut. This year December 25 is also Hanukkah so we will be playing a wide range of music including traditional Hanukkah favorites along with Klezmer, Yiddish songs and more


Bassology @ the Untitled Bistro at the Wadsworth Atheneum

The Untitled Bistro at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main Street, Hartford

Sunday, January 5, Bassology makes its debut at the buffet brunch in the Untitled Bistro at the Wadsworth Atheneum. The band will feature Danielle Valentin on vocals, Chris Casey on keyboards, Jocelyn Pleasant on drums along with yours truly on the bass. Tickets include museum admission, jazz, brunch, and one complementary bloody Mary or mimosa. The Wadsworth Atheneum is located at 600 Main Street, Hartford. There are two seatings, one at 10:30am & one at 12:30pm.

Stacy Phillips (1944-2018)