Sometime in the ’90s, drummer Kevin Deihl was walking through Central Park and heard an irresistible combination of rhythms emanating from the gazebo area.
“It sounded African, and Caribbean or Latino at the same time,” he remembers. He stopped and introduced himself to the musicians.
A few years later, he needed a percussionist for his new band, and someone gave him Jerry Gonzalez’s number. As it turns out, Gonzalez was one of the drummers in Central Park. Sonic Liberation Front was born, bubbling to the surface with a strange brew of Yoruba melodies and Deihl’s loft jazz influences.
Now in Philadelphia, with a combination of new and tenured members, SLF is easily one of the most revered local acts. But Philly’s jazz, experimental and world music scenes all stake their claim to the 13-piece band.
On Saturday, SLF will join with the monstrously thick jazz of The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound for a combo of Philly avant music. The bands will play separate sets, with a possible mash-up at the end.