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

Letters from the Affair PREMIERE

WaterFire Arts Center - Down Studio, 475 Valley St., Providence

Letters from the Affair a new musical by David Chevan, performed by the Afro-Semitic Experience with Cantor Martin Levson—Edgar Degas Cantor Malachi Kanfer—Camille Pissarro Alvin Carter—Narrator, drums Jocelyn Pleasant—Zoe, percussion Adam Matlock—accordion Will Bartlett—saxophone and clarinets David Chevan--bass Tickets are $15 and will be available in advance online, or cash only, at the door on the day of the performance For more information please visit the FRINGEPVD: The Providence Fringe Festival website for the play:

To purchase advance tickets please click on the tab below marked $15.00.


Bassology @ the Elm City Market Jazz Brunch

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Elm City Market , 777 Chapel Street, New Haven

Please join us for a Sunday brunch with the cool swinging sounds of Bassology. Great American standards, smoky blues equals music with depth and meaning. Musicians and singers are invited to sit in with us after the first set.


The Afro-Semitic Experience play after hours at The Mount

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The Mount--the Edith Wharton Estate, 2 Plunkett Street , Lenox

The Afro-Semitic Experience return to the Mount for an evening of spiritual, swinging sounds in the Berkshires. A beautiful setting on a summer evening for dinner and music. Come be a part of the experience!!


Bassology @ Veracious Brewery

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Veracious Brewery, 246 Main Street, Monroe

Bassology swings by Veracious Brewery to play some great jazz while you can enjoy some great beer. Veracious is one of the finest breweries in Connecticut. Hope you can come by and enjoy our sounds while enjoying one of their pints.

Stacy Phillips (1944-2018)