Express – News
San Antonio’s quality newspaper
By Phillip Krumm
“The final concert of this year’s festival took place Sunday at Guadalupe Theater and was probably the major surprise of the year: the Beledi Ensemble from Dallas-Fort Worth. This incredibly versatile group plays a sort of Middle-Eastern, North African jazz-new music fusion, and their force and dynamism was apparent from the first.
Keystone members Jamal and Buddy Mohamed were joined by violinist Mark Menikos, Ken Grimes and Brent Nance (synthesizers) and Thom Cross, percussion. It is unfortunate space does not permit a full report on the several excellent compositions by these fine musicians, each a respected and prominent performer in his own right, but “Bulgarian Blues,” a gigantic jazz score based on a medley of Bulgarian folksongs, and “Khartoum” by Mark Menikos were outstanding in both solo and collective accomplishment. “Zembeckikos,” a Greek folk song, was also extraordinary.”
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