Soul'd Out Presents
Fri October 4, 2024
( Doors: 7:00 pm ) SHOW: 8:00 pm PDT
Jack London Revue
529 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR
Ages 21 and Up
Yemen Blues

This is a General Admission show - seating not guaranteed and is first come-first served. The venue will feature an open dance floor fomat.


Ravid Kahalani Vocal & Gimbri / Shanir Blumenkranz Bass & Oud /  Rony Iwryn Percussion / Dan Mayo Drums

Yemen Blues is a contradiction in plain sight. They’re a puzzle you unlock by finding the solution inside yourself. Solo voices in unison; a collective in many parts. On one level, it’s music at its most direct, it’s most emotionally emphatic. On another, it’s a spiritual quest, both enlightening and perplexing. A project that spans continents while preaching the universal, they obey multiple traditions while forging their own.

With a sense of the spirit in each note, Yemen Blues are worth comparing to spiritual jazz greats such as John Coltrane. Drawing from the great traditions of Jewish and Arabic culture in the Middle East, each note sings with a love for common humanity. “Spirituality unites us,” Ravid explains. “Love unites us. We move to extremes, but it’s soulful.”

This year has brought their studio album ‘Shabazai – A Tribute To The Poet’, an evocation of the work of legendary Yemeni poet Shalom Shabazi. Working with alacrity, Yemen Blues are ready to spin the creative dials once more, and there’s no telling where it will land.

“It’s beautiful and it’s fun and it’s smart,” says Dan. “It breaks the rules – there’s something different here.”

Ever the purveyor of clipped, sage-like wisdom, Shanir puts it even more succinctly: “It sounds like today, somehow.”

The first seed was planted by Ravid Kalahani – the founder, and talismanic audio guru behind Yemen Blues back in 2010. They have since become a stamp placed on multiple projects, with many different voices. Rony Iwryn is one of the most persuasive – an Israeli artist from Uraguay, he’s been there for over a decade holding down the percussion chair, with an open heart, a thirst for salsa, and an ability to find strength in fragility.

Shanir Blumenkranz has his twin role on bass guitar and oud spanning different worlds, different sonic systems. His electrifying personality belies a zen-like calm; a giant in NY's avant-garde scene, he’s worked on more than 150 albums, bringing together the twin poles of extreme noise and simple melody.

With each project, Yemen Blues adapted into different forms. The flavors varied, but the instinct stayed the same. Dan Mayo was the final part of the quartet, bringing a hip-hop crunch, a concentrated hunger for fun, a machine-like sense of the human groove.

There’s a certain magic to these four musicians - on one hand, their music is timeless, extending itself back through Millennia – you can hear the music of the desert in Ravid’s voice, and his compositions. 

Yemen Blues featuring Ravid Kahalani