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Esoteric philosophies and diverse musical genres infuse the Secret Chiefs 3 with a sense of mystery and compelling energies. The band, founded and headed by Trey Spruance (Mr. Bungle), has released numerous recordings since 1995, sometimes under different names, with a very fluid roster of band members. Now their energies have led them to Israel, where the band will perform this coming Saturday, September 6, 2014 at the Barby in Tel Aviv. I’m listening to Vajra as I write, caught up by the music, which travels freely through rhythms and genres – all in the course of one song. I would not have thought that free jazz and country could communicate with one another, let alone co-exist! The eclectic, tantalizing flow transcends genre – melodic, edgy, contemplative with a bit of a grin.

The name of the band is inspired by the Secret Chiefs, mystical figures in charge of the moral well-being and general maintenance of the cosmos, often discussed in mystical literature. For Spruance, Secret Chiefs 3 appears to serve as the locus for his diverse musical interests: surf rock, death metal, film music, world music, funk, space rock, country music, progressive rock and free jazz. The band lore is mysterious and complex – in 2004 it was announced that Secret Chiefs is a general heading for what are actually seven different satellite bands, each reflecting a different aspect of Spruance’s musical leanings. These bands were credited on two compilation albums released by Secret Chiefs 3: Book of Horizons (2004) and Satellite Supersonic Vol. 1 (2010). Performing with Trey Spruance at the Barby will be: Kenny Grohowski on drums (John Zorn, Shanir Blumenkranz & many more); Toby Driver (Kayo Dot, Maudlin of the Well); Timb Harris on bass (Estradasphere); and Matt Lebofsky (MoeTar Faun Fables) on keyboards. It’s power group of amazingly accomplished musicians all on one stage.
Come hear the Secret Chiefs 3 at the Barby (52 Kibbutz Galuyot TLV), September 6th – doors open at 20:30. Tickets are 162 NIS in advance, 189 NIS at the door and may be ordered online at or