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In Your Ear Episode 75: George Lowe and the Afro-Zen Allstars

Afro-Zen Allstars
Afro-Zen Allstars (Photo courtesy of JAMinc.)

George Lowe has had a long time interest in global music of all stripes. As a former member of Richmond bands Ululating Mummies, Rattlemouth, and Hotel X, he took a particular shine to the music of Ethiopia’s club scene. He taught himself how to transpose the music he was hearing into charts his bandmates could play. Gathering musicians from some of the aforementioned groups, along with alumni of VCU’s celebrated jazz program, he formed the Afro-Zen Allstars in 2014.

Their music exists at the place where African musical tradition connects with jazz, and the haunting sounds created in Ethiopia during that late 60s/early 70s "Golden Age.” They add material from all over Africa and beyond, plus similarly flavored originals. Recorded live in Hardywood’s Barrel Room on March 9th, 2022.


JAMinc's In Your Ear concert series presents a wide range of both rising and established artists in an engaging live environment. All the shows were staged and well-recorded in Studio A, until the pandemic prohibited that kind of proximity. Some of this new season of programs were live-streamed for the first time from Studio A with NO audience. You can watch those streams in their entirety here...others were held in Hardywood Brewing's Barrel Room in Scott's Addition. The concert series dates back to 2004 and we're grateful to Carlos Chafin, Andrea Bucheit and Paul Bruski at In Your Ear for their enduring partnership and commitment to live music in our community. We'd also like to thank Catherine Poston and Kevin Willoughby at Hardywood for providing us with such an inviting alternative venue. JAMinc president Tim Timberlake produces and hosts the programs covering a wide range of genres including bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues, old time, Celtic, gospel and singer-songwriters of many styles. Concerts are typically held monthly except during the summer...check our website for information and reservations: jaminc.org/events.

Production support for JAMinc Presents In Your Ear is provided by Digital Video Group, Threshold Counsel PC, Fralin Pickups, Virginia Humanities and the Virginia Folklife Program, the Scott Street family, JAMinc founder Wally Thulin, the Robbin  Thompson Endowment for Youth in Music and the members of VPM Music.