SILA, LAGOS ROOTS

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 onemama.org, 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.

LAGOS ROOTS

Fronted by Geoffrey Omadhebo (Sonny Okosuns, One World), this 15-piece afrobeat orchestra brings it back, straight to 1970’s West Africa. LAGOS ROOTS presents a version of unfiltered, deeply-grooved Nigerian/ WestCoast Afrobeat that follows a direct path to the beginnings of the genre. The band's performances feature a healthy blend of Fela Kuti & Africa 70 classic repertoire with Omadhebo's own politically charged compositions, and in classical afrobeat fashion, the music speaks for itself, offering audiences a sharp reminder of the ability of live music to capture a political and historical message and spin it back to the public in a contemporary and provocatively musical way.

Based in Oakland, California, LAGOS ROOTS has emerged from a long held dream to put together a band of original master musicians with members of a new generation of afrobeat musicians. In addition to Omadhebo (first a drummer, now a vocalist), who began his career in the early 1970's playing drums and recording hits with the bands One World, Sonny Okosuns, Wrinkars Experience and The Nigerian Allstars, LAGOS ROOTS often features other stars of Nigeria's top afro-beat, afro-funk/rock and world-beat bands who now reside in the Bay Area. This famous LAGOS ROOTS cast of musicians includes: Tutu Shorunmu (guitar, Africa 70), Christy Agbe (vocals, Africa 70), Candido Obajimi (percussion, Monomono), Sikiru Adepoju (Mickey Hart, Babatunde Olatunji), Friday Jumbo (congas, Africa 70, Monomono) and Babatunde Williams (trumpet, Africa 70, Manu Dibango). Rounding out the band's section members are a supremely solid group of younger Bay Area musicians, whose talents are often lent to a host of other Bay Area bands, including ChaChing!, Guy Fox, Bulk, Midnight Raid, Mad Noise, Damon & the Heathens, Caught in Motion, Afromassive, The Grease Traps, and the Funk Revival Orchestra.

Representing an important step in the evolution of the style of Nigerian afrobeat once imagined by Fela Kuti & Africa 70, the LAGOS ROOTS AFROBEAT ENSEMBLE brings an extraordinary vision to the stage, complete with horns blasting melodies and backgrounds, driving bass lines and characteristic guitar interplay, authentic vintage keyboards, and a full drum and percussion section that is always grooving. Prepare to dial in on the dance floor and sweat to the beat of the Kalakuta Republic, live with LAGOS ROOTS!

NON STOP BHANGRA

Voted as one of the dance floor nights in San Francisco, Non Stop Bhangra is a non-stop party, featuring dance lessons with Dholrhythms Dance Company, followed by dance performances, live music sets, visuals, live painting, and DJs spinning an eclectic mix of Bhangra, Hip Hop, Reggae, and Electronica. Imagine a scene from a Bollywood movie smack in the middle of a thumping nightclub—swirling colors, the rhythm of pounding feet, and the relentless energy of brilliant beats-that's Non Stop Bhangra.
Non Stop Bhangra was founded in 2004 when Dj Jimmy Love teamed up with Dholrhythms founders Vicki Virk & Suman Raj, with the goal of bringing Bhangra to a wider audience. The first Non-Stop Bhangra night was hosted to celebrate the one year anniversary of Dholrhythms by providing a dance space for students of Dholrhythms Bhangra Classes. Since then, Non Stop Bhangra has made this traditional style a serious dance floor craze in San Francisco, drawing Bay Area's most diverse crowds to join in the frenzy. NSB is a destination creating sold out nights and write-ups as one of the best dance floor nights in San Francisco.

Best Dance Party in San Francisco!
-7x7 Magazine, 2011

Top 5 Things to do in SF Bay Area!
-The New York Times, 2010

One of Most Inspiring
Decade in Music: 10yrs on Bay Area Dance Floor
San Francisco Guardian, 2009!

Voted as one of 250 Things to do in SF before you die!
7 x7 Magazine, San Francisco, 2009!

$17 adv / $19 door

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SILA, LAGOS ROOTS with NON STOP BHANGRA

Friday, January 17 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Chapel