Residency Dates: June 23, 2024 - July 13, 2024
Application Deadline: January 28, 2024

PhD Kahil El’Zabar, (PHD Interdisciplinary Arts from Lake Forest College ,2006), has been performing professionally, as a creative musician (multi-percussionist), since the late 60’s. He first went on the road with the legendary Gene Ammons, and later throughout his career with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Stevie Wonder, Lester Bowie, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp, Eddie Harris, David Murray, Donny Hathaway, Malachi Favors, Kurt Elling, Neneh Cherry, and on. 

El’Zabar joined the legendary AACM (association for the advancement of creative musicians) in 1970, and later became chairman (1975-82). He is leader and founder of the internationally renowned Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and the Ritual Trio and has recorded more than 60 acclaimed projects worldwide. He has won numerous awards over the years for his musical skills, from Down Beat and Jazz Is magazines, as well as the Jazz Journalist Association. Sir El’Zabar was actually Knighted by the French Government in 2014, (Chevalier Medal of Letters) for his impactful contribution to the arts internationally. He was named Chicagoan of the year in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. He has been an artist in residence since 2008 in the City of Bordeaux, France, where he has created, organized, and produced a myriad of stellar performance and exhibition projects. Sir Kahil El’Zabar is considered by his peers to be one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his generation. 

Dr. El’Zabar has been an associate professor at the U. Arizona, Tucson, U. Nebraska, Lincoln, and U. IL. Chicago. He has sat on the advisory boards of the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton, to the National Taskforce on Arts Presenting in Education, and is a founding member and board of director for the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression. Kahil has scored music for such box office hit films as Mo Money (Columbia Pictures), Love Jones (New Line Cinema), How U Like Me Now (Universal), and America the Beautiful (Warner Bros.). He has also scored musical arrangements for the theatrical version of The Lion King (Disney). 

Sir El’Zabar is currently signed to Spiritmuse Records (London). The record “Time For Healing” released through the label received a Grammy nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album”. El’Zabar is the conceptual director and founder of OOH Now: Oracles of Humanity Network of Wisdom, an online culture/network of the who’s who in the Arts. 


Residency Statement
This residency is intended to enhance your practice and your process. We will explore the depth of intercultural, intergenerational artistic exchange through the inclusion of varied interdisciplinary practices. Applicants must be well technically trained and willing to explore improvisational work as the key to finding new discoveries in old approaches.
Application Requirements
– 1-page CV to include your most recent works with reference to your levels of ability and experience within your study and practice.
– Statement of intent describing why you will benefit most from this residency, your understanding of improvisation within the arts, and your artistic interests/influences
– 2 work samples (excerpts or complete works)
– Images in a PDF format, Digital platform links acceptable (vimeo, YouTube, or SoundCloud etc.), works must not exceed 3 minutes in length.
– Optional support material: interdisciplinary works or collaborations.


Application Fee: $25 | Apply

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