Yemen Blues – “Only Love Remains”

Wednesday, September 18, 2024
Doors: 7pm | Show: 8pm
$20-$30 advance | $22-$32 day of show


  • This is a ticketed event. Everyone must have a ticket for entry.
  • Join us before the show for dinner & drinks in The Lounge, our full-service restaurant & bar on the upstairs level which opens at 6pm. View menu & make a reservation.
  • Mezzanine ticket holders are seated on the balcony overlooking the main stage, with access to a private bar, restrooms, and dining area where you can order from The Lounge menu.
  • If you require accessible seating and none is available online, please contact us at or 215-222-1400 prior to the show so we can best accommodate your needs.
  • Join the WCL Fan Club for priority entry, food & merch discounts, exclusive offers, and more. Mega & Ultimate Fan levels include 24-hour presale access and no ticket fees.
  • World Cafe Live is a nonprofit independent venue where artistry meets social impact. Every purchase helps support our music education & community programs.
  • See FAQ for more information.
Yemen Blues is a contradiction in plain sight. Theyʼre a puzzle you unlock by finding the solution inside yourself. Solo voices in unison; a collective in many parts. On one level, itʼs music at its most direct, itʼs most emotionally emphatic. On another, itʼs a spiritual quest, both enlightening and perplexing. A project that spans continents while preaching the universal, they obey multiple traditions while forging their own. The first seed was planted by Ravid Kalahani – the founder, and talismanic audio guru behind Yemen Blues. That was back in 2010. In the years following, Yemen Blues have become a stamp placed on multiple projects, with many different voices. Rony Iwryn is one of the most persuasive – an Israeli artist from Uraguay, heʼs 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 joined a long time back, 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 New Yorkʼs avant-garde scene, heʼs worked on more than 150 albums, bringing together the twin poles of extreme noise and simple melody. As each project was released, Yemen Blues adapted into different forms. The flavors varied, but the instinct stayed the same. Dan Mayo was the final part of the quartet to come into place, bringing a hip-hop crunch, a concentrated hunger for fun, a machine-like sense of the human groove. Thereʼs a certain magic to the way these four musicians interact. On one hand, their music is timeless, extending itself back through Millennia – you can hear the music of the desert in Ravidʼs voice, and his compositions. But theyʼre also a radical break with the past, a four-part space where freedom is the only goal. Listening to Yemen Blues is like eating a rich, Middle Eastern soup made of only four ingredients – each flavor is profound, forever changing yet forever in balance. As Rony puts it: “Music that comes from freedom is the best form of music you can make.” This year alone has brought their studio album ʻShabazai – A Tribute To The Poetʼ, 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 thereʼs no telling where it will land. “Itʼs beautiful and itʼs fun and itʼs smart,” says Dan. “It breaks the rules – thereʼs something different here.” 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 itʼs soulful.” Ever the purveyor of clipped, sage-like wisdom, Shanir puts it even more succinctly: “It sounds like today, somehow.”