Friday, April 9, 2010

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars & FELA!


April 13: Sierra Leone Night at FELA!, Starring Sierra Leonean Sahr Ngaujah;
Specially Priced Discount Tickets

April 14: “Sierra Leone Rising” at the Highline Ballroom, a Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Record Release Concert Featuring Special Guests Including 
Sierra Leone Hip Hop Group Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew; 
The Bubu King, Janka Nabay; and Sahr Ngaujah

In keeping with the theme of their acclaimed new album, Rise & Shine, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have partnered with FELA! on Broadway to present a two-night, pre-Independence Day (April 27) celebration of Sierra Leone’s post-war cultural renaissance. April 13 will be Sierra Leone Night at FELA!, with a special discount ticket offer available. On April 14, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars will use the occasion of their record release show to pay tribute to Sierra Leone. In “Sierra Leone Rising,” an evening showcasing music from Rise & Shine (Cumbancha, March 23, 2010), the All Stars will be joined at the Highline Ballroom by hip-hop group Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew; Janka Nabay, master of Sierra Leone’s Bubu music; and Sahr Ngaujah, the first Sierra Leonean Broadway star.
Among those attending Sierra Leone Night at FELA! will be Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, and Ahmed Janka Nabay, along with representatives of the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations. Discounted tickets are available for this night, ranging from $35 to $85 while supplies last. These tickets can be purchased by visiting, or by calling 212-947-8844 and mentioning the code FESLR46.

Tickets for Sierra Leone Rising at the Highline Ballroom are $25-30 and are available at the box office, located at 431 West 16th St, New York, NY 10011, or by calling (212) 414-5994 or visiting

The Highline Ballroom Show is part of an extensive tour on which the All Stars are partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to raise awareness about the needs of refugees. The All Stars first formed and performed in refugee camps in Guinea where the IRC managed school programs, health clinics and other critical services for tens of thousands of Sierra Leoneans who escaped civil war at home. Since then, in electrifying live performances and recording experience with the likes of Aerosmith and Mavis Staples, the All Stars have been “establishing an identity based as much on skill, imagination and charisma as on their undeniably touching story” (The Los Angeles Times). (The band’s remarkable journey was documented in the multi-award winning documentary Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, by Zach Niles and Banker White.

“Amid their shared experience of living as refugees [the All Stars] found a common cause—to play beautiful music, bring cheer and hope to refugees who fled a brutal war and help them forget the horrors they left behind,” says International Rescue Committee spokeswoman Melissa Winkler. “Their music became an antidote to the misery, monotony and uncertainty that Sierra Leonean refugees faced each day, and their music continues to be an inspiration to refugees around the world.”

On the upcoming tour, concertgoers will be encouraged to donate $5 to IRC programs by texting REFUGEE to 25383. The donations will help Sierra Leonean and other refugees given sanctuary in the United States to recover and rebuild their lives here. The All Stars and Cumbancha are also donating $2 to the IRC’s global humanitarian aid programs for each copy of Rise & Shine sold through this link:

Rise & Shine is the follow up to the All Stars’ debut, Living Like a Refugee, which garnered the band international acclaim and high profile fans such as Keith Richards, Sir Paul McCartney, Angelina Jolie and Ice Cube. On the new album, produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Angelique Kidjo, Rickie Lee Jones, Michelle Shocked, Alec Ounsworth, Jackie Greene), Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have realized a unique and seamlessly coherent sound: a fusion of traditional West African music and roots reggae, inflected with New Orleans styles.

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