Date: Sunday, August 05, 2012
Start Time: 8:00 PM
Event Type: Special Events, Concerts
Last Updated: July 03, 2012
Sierra Leone's Refugee All StarsBlack Nature Band, Naia KeteSierra Leone's Refugee All StarsThe globally acclaimed Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars return with their third studio album, Radio Salone, out April 24, 2012, on CD and limited-edition 2LP vinyl via Cumbancha. Produced by roots reggae, soul and Afrobeat guru Victor Axelrod, aka Ticklah, (Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Easy Star All Stars, Antibalas) and recorded in Brooklyn's Dunham Studios, Radio Salone marks the band's most musically sophisticated collection of songs to date. The album is the follow-up to the band's 2010 album Rise & Shine, which was the #1 album of the year on the World Music Charts Europe.Out of dark times, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have always made music rife with hopeful messages and joyful rhythms. Radio Salone is no different, but this time it feels like a milestone album for the group. When they stepped into the studio for the Radio Salone sessions, they began laying down tracks with a definitive vintage African vibe, connecting traditional West African sounds with roots reggae in ways that they had never before explored. Employing analog technology, the band used mid-70s era microphones and 16-track tapes. With the limited takes that tape imposes on the recording process, there was often just one chance to create perfection. But perfection to this band means embracing unplanned nuances, allowing the visceral qualities of music to shine, letting the process play out in real time. The mics don't shut off between the album's tracks - an invitation to the listener to join the band on their creative journey.Having persevered through the horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war, band leader Reuben Koroma and the group continue to musically evolve in exciting ways, well past their jam sessions in the Guinean refugee camps and the rawness of their first recordings in their native capital of Freetown. The songs are infused with intricate dub elements not found in their earlier material and interludes are featured as part of the album flow for the first time. From the hollow echoes of the congoma (also known as the marimba - a percussion instrument with wooden keys and resonators) in album opener "Chant It Down" to the bubbling rhythm of lead single "Mother In Law" to the irresistible hook of "Big Fat Dog," there are thrilling discoveries around every corner. While the band initially gained fame through the power of their story and message, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have since become one of Africa's most active touring bands, and the years of experience are reflected in the virtuosity of their performance on Radio Salone.Black Nature BandBlack Nature is an original musical artist who composes and performs positive music that incorporates a unique blend of African Rhythms, Reggae, Dancehall, Rock, Hip-Hop and R&B. He is also a musical producer and filmmaker.As a young child, Black Nature began singing and playing percussion, and he was greatly influenced by the rich musical culture of Sierra Leone. In the midst of the country's brutal 10 year civil war, he fled to neighboring Guinea where he was placed in a refugee camp. During his time at the camp, he and other Sierra Leonean refugees formed a band that later became the world renowned Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars.For the first few years, this band composed and performed original music to entertain their fellow refugees. They actually had to make their own instruments from the few materials available to them at the camp. In 2002, the group met documentary filmmakers Banker White and Zack Niles along with the talented musician Chris Velan. Banker, Zack and Chris followed the group from one refugee camp to another, creating a documentary of the band's experiences living and performing in the various refugee camps in Guinea. After three years in production, this documentary, entitled The Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, became an international success, winning eleven awards in various categories and is currently available on Netflix. For more information about the documentary, please visit www.refugeeallstars.org.Following the release of the documentary, the band toured internationally for nine years and developed a loyal following. They have performed at events such as Red Rocks in Colorado, Life is Good Festival in Boston, Bonaroo Festival in Tennessee, Fuji Rock in Japan, Outside Lands in San Francisco, Central Park Summer Stage in New York, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, SXSW in Austin, Jam Cruise 9, the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Save the Children in New York and a variety of other notable venues and major festivals worldwide.Naia KeteNaia's music is a personal/political soul-trip, as grounded and articulate as it is emotive, ever powered by the guitar and voice of this blossoming young visionary. Her songs would fit right alongside a radio playlist of Adele's "Chasing Pavements," Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and John Legend's "Ordinary People."She inspires with her words and brings the listener on an emotional journey. Listening to Naia or seeing her live you experience how her voice flows with a lyrical maturity and precision that conjures images of the great Lauryn Hill, Norah Jones, John Legend, Adele, or even soul diva Erykah Badu leaving the observer wide-eyed and ready for action.Naia is confident and centered, as grounded as the musical tradition she grew up with. She is direct, kind, quick to laugh, and talks about music as a conciliatory tool that she has seen unite her family and plans to put to use inspiring and bringing together the peoples of the world."Community is so important to me," says Naia "A lot of what I try to convey in my music is that I feel like it's truly time for the people of the world to unite in order to create peace and joy. It has to start in the home, and next in your extended family and community. I wouldn't be singing and writing in the way that I do if it wasn't for the people who have touched my life and heart so dearly."
Location: The Independent
Address: 628 Divisadero Street, Western Addicition, San Francisco
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