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MARCH 4

During the latter half of the ’60s, Chicago’s famed Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians spurred one of improvised music’s most significant periods of discovery and growth. Thirty years later, the Chicago-based Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, fronted by former AACM Chairman Kahil El’ Zabar, continues to redefine the boundaries of improvisational music. The ensemble’s indigenous African instrumentation (thumb piano, earth drums, flutes, marimba, and bells) provides a soothing contrast to the music’s tenser moments. Led by percussionist/vocalist El’ Zabar and featuring multi-reedist Edward Wilkerson and trombonist Joe Bowie, the trio transcends experimentation-for-its-own-sake to create music of significant strength and sanity. Saturday at 8 & 10 p.m. at Mo’ Black Studios, 29 King’s Court Alley SE. $12. (202) 546-0154. (Bobby Hill)