San Francisco Hearts Kenya:
On 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing at least 148 people, and injuring 79 or more. The militant group Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack.

In response to the attack, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical team provided support to the Kenyan Ministry of Health at Garissa Hospital. MSF treated survivors of the attack who suffered from gunshot and blast wounds, as well as people those who sustained cut injuries from shattered glass during their escape.

In keeping with the Bay Area’s music community’s longstanding tradition of coming together to help those who are in need, Kenyan Afropop artist and NAACP Image Award winner Sila, a frequent supporter of humanitarian causes, has organized a benefit concert for Doctors Without Borders boasting some of the Bay Area’s best bands, DJ’s and solo artists.

The show, called “San Francisco Hearts Kenya,” takes place at the Chapel April 30; confirmed artists include SILA, Native Elements, Sambaxé Dance-Company, Zéna and DJ Mpenzi, DJ Cecil This stellar lineup incorporates a diverse mix of genres and musical styles: Afrobeat, Samba, funk , reggae, soul, and more.

“We reject indifference to the barbarism that took place at the University of Garissa,” said Sila. “Just because the victims were Africans doesn’t mean that this devastating attack doesn’t deserve the same level of outcry and humanitarian response as other recent international terrorist incidents.”

At least 3.7 million people, including several world leaders, marched in anti-terrorism rallies in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack. “There are no marches for the Garissa attack,” Sila added. 

“Kenya is in our hearts and minds right now. That’s my homeland, but it also belongs to the world. Like the Nigerian women kidnapped by Boko Haram, Garissa should not be forgotten; it’s critical to help raise awareness and get aid to the survivors as soon as humanly possible. This is a small thing, but it’s what we can do right now,” said Sila. “I’m asking the Bay Area music community and all those who abhor violence to join us in peace and solidarity.”

He continues, “While it’s important to donate money, it’s equally important to send positive vibes out to the Kenyan people, to let them know that the Bay Area supports them in their time of need. There’s no better way to do that than to have a show with an amazing lineup like this.” 

Hailed as “Africa’s James Brown,” Sila has made an immediate and lasting impact on the music world. As a 2010 NAACP Award winner for his last record, Sila has delved deep into his soul, taking cues from his musical idols Fela and Bob Marley to create a fiery new record that resounds with inspiration and positivity while speaking to issues of adversity and struggle. Set to hit February 25, SuperAfrican boasts rhythms and a groove that are so uniquely Sila that it will no doubt have you dancing through each and every listen.

Sila will also be releasing a comic book titled SuperAfrican, which visually explores many of the same themes and ideas that are woven throughout his album. The comic book, written by Eric K. Arnold, focuses on a young African superhero who takes on villains in African settings, from refugee camps to diamond mines. Sila's’s goal is to offer youth in Africa a superhero who not only looks like them, but also fights the evils they know all too well. All net proceeds from the sale of the comic book will go to, a non-profit organization that provides a self-sustaining medical clinic that promotes safe birthing environments; family and financial planning; and trade, craft and agricultural education in Kirindi, Uganda. OneMama’s goal is to raise funds to build a library for its community center, where youth and adults can obtain books and other reading materials not only for entertainment but also for education and health-related information.

The Kenyan-born artist, who has lived in San Francisco for the last decade, harked back to his childhood in a rural village near Nairobi for inspiration while making the new album. The result is a twelve-track offering that shimmers, pulses and throbs with earnest and heartfelt expressions of American pop, R&B, soul and funk, filtered through an Afropop prism.SuperAfrican features all live instrumentation and showcases the contributions of world-class Bay Area musicians, including members of Santana, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sting, and Jazz Mafia, among others.

With SuperAfrican, Sila has made an album suitable for making love, wrestling lions, or enjoying a night out. It’s the latest step in a journey that has taken him from Africa to the United States to Europe, and back again, while allowing him to share his own story with the world.

SambaDá musically unites the Americas, drawing from percussion-based styles of South and Central American samba and salsa, and blending them with the funk!

While Brazilian natives Papiba Godinho and Dandha da Hora bring their profound knowledge and respect for the roots of afro-brazilian song and dance, the entire band has developed a type of samba-reggae-funk with a universal appeal. SambaDá musically unites the Americas, drawing from percussion based styles of South and Central America, and blends it with that good old funk and reggae back beat so familiar to crowds of North America.

For over ten years, SambaDá has been mixing contemporary sounds with the roots of brazilian culture. Papiba is a master of Capoeira, an Afro Brazilian martial art form created by Brazilian slaves, which draws on music and acrobatic movements. Dandha was born into the rich Afro Brazilian traditions of Salvador, Bahia and the Carnival Group Ile Aiye, and started her dancing career at age 6. Ile Aiye has been in the forefront of Civil Rights in Brazil, promoting equality and justice, and is widely recognized as the first Afro Brazilian BLOCO or group to perform in Brazil's notorious Carnival celebrations.

The other members of SambaDá come from a wide range of styles, generations and sensibilities. What unites this band from such diverse backgrounds is a magic that can be felt by both the band and the audience. SambaDá brings joy to each performance, and keeps their fans asking for more!!

$16 adv / $18 door


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