Bearsville Theater

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars ~ Join the Positive Revolution Tour at the Bearsville Theater!!

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars  "Positive Revolution Tour!"

w/ special guests:

We Must Be

Songs Of Solomon



Friday, May 20, 2011
Doors:  8:00 PM
Show:  9:00 PM
Tickets:  $20.00  General Admission 

Sitting in a dusty refugee camp in Guinea in 2004, Reuben M. Koroma, the founder of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, could not have imagined what the near future would hold for him and the members of his band. In just six whirlwind years, the group has gone from being unknown musicians languishing in various refugee camps to being the subject of an acclaimed documentary film, touring the world to support a critically revered album, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and sharing the stage and studio with Aerosmith and other international stars. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. The band is a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact.


Throughout the 1990s, the West African country of Sierra Leone was wracked with a bloody, horrifying war that forced millions to flee their homes that forced millions to flee their homes. The musicians that would eventually form Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are all originally from Freetown, and they were forced to leave the capital city at various times after violent rebel attacks. One particularly odious event took place on January 6, 1999, when rebels attacked the city as part of an unthinkably evil campaign they called "Operation Kill Every Living Thing." This attack on Freetown caused a panicked mass exodus with thousands of civilians fleeing the region. Most of those that left the country made their way into neighboring Guinea, some ending up in refugee camps and others struggling to fend for themselves in the capital city of Conakry.

Koroma and his wife Grace had left Sierra Leone in 1997 and found themselves in the Kalia refugee camp near the border with Sierra Leone. When it became clear they would not be heading back to their homeland anytime soon, they joined up with guitarist Francis John Langba (aka Franco), and bassist Idrissa Bangura (aka Mallam), other musicians in the camp whom they had known before the war, to entertain their fellow refugees. Even the refugee camps were not safe havens, however, as they were attacked by the Guinean military and civilian militias who believed the camps were being used as staging ground for cross border attacks by the Sierra Leonean rebels. Eventually, Reuben, Grace and Franco ended up in the more stable Sembakounya Refugee Camp near the remote town of Dabola, and there they put the call out for musicians to audition to form a band. After a Canadian relief agency donated two beat up electric guitars, a single microphone and a meager sound system, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars were born.

American filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White encountered the band in the Sembakounya Camp, and were so inspired by their story they ended up following them for three years as they moved from camp to camp, bringing much needed joy to fellow refugees with their heartfelt performances. Eventually, the war in Sierra Leone came to an end, and over time the All Stars returned to Freetown, where they met other returning musicians who joined the band's rotating membership. It was there in the tin-roofed shacks of Freetown's ghettos that Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars recorded the tracks that ended up, along with unplugged recordings made in the refugee camps, being the basis for their debut album, Living Like a Refugee, which was released on the label Anti in 2006.

The resulting film that documented this moving saga, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, was a critical success, and introduced the world to the personalities and dramatic stories behind the band, not to mention their instantly appealing music. "As harrowing as these personal tales may be," wrote The New York Times, "the music buoying them is uplifting." Newsweek raved, "It's as easy to fall in love with these guys as it was with the Buena Vista Social Club."

The movie, album and eventual U.S. tours helped expand their following, and soon the band found itself playing in front of enraptured audiences of tens of thousands at New York's Central Park SummerStage, Japan's Fuji Rock Festival and the revered Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. They appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, contributed a song to the Blood Diamond film soundtrack, participated in the U2 tribute album In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2, and earned praise and backing from Sir Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ice Cube, Angelina Jolie and others inspired by their life-affirming story and captivating music. In one of the most surreal moments of their climb to fame, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars opened for Aerosmith at the 12,000 capacity Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars  "Positive Revolution Tour!" 5%2F20%2F11 at the Bearsville Theater

SIERRA LEONE BAND:
Reuben Koroma - Leader, Songwriter
Black Nature - Rap, Percussion
Makengo Kamara - Vocals, percussion
Ashade Pearce - Rhythm guitar, vocals
Jahson Bull - multi-instrumentalist
Kobina Valcarcel - Lead Guitar
Dennis Bakarr - Bass
Christo Davies - Drums

 

 

 

Have a listen and download the album Rise & Shine by SLRAS's for free here.

Meet the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Star's on YouTube

 

Bearsville Theater Presents

<

May, 2011

>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    
       

Subscriptions

Stay up-to-date on theater events and promotions by subscribing to our mailing list or RSS feed.

Bearsville Theater logo

291 Tinker St., Woodstock, NY - (845) 679-4406

help with papers