Monday, June 18, 2012

Hot Summer Nights World Music Series at the Iron Horse keeping your feet moving (and TSA and customs agents on their toes all summer long!

The Skatalites
Thursday, June 21st 8:30 at the Iron Horse

Plus Community Smokes

The Skatalites are the seminal Ska band from Jamaica. As studio musicians they backed the likes of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, and just about every vocalist in Jamaica in the early 60’s.  In 1966, The Skatalites music climbed the charts in the UK with their rendition of the movie theme “The Guns of Navarone." In 1983, The Skatalites reunited to stake their claim to the music which had become so popular through the emergence bands like The Police, The Clash, The Specials and The English Beat. Local groovers Community Smokes open.

Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars
Saturday, June 23rd 7PM at the Iron Horse

Formed in a refugee camp during Sierra Leone's civil war, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars' incredible story is documented in the award winning, compelling and emotionally-driven film, "Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars." Initial support for the film came from executive producers Steve Bing and Shelley Lazar as well as Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Angelina Jolie. The resulting studio album, Living Like A Refugee, is one of the most acclaimed world music releases of the past few years, garnering the band international acclaim and high profile fans including Aerosmith, who the All Stars collaborated with in concert and in the studio. Radio Salone, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars'  3rd studio album  is produced by Victor Axelrod, aka Ticklah (Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, Amy Winehouse, Easy Star All Stars, Antibalas).

plus Purity Supreme presents Wooly Bully
Thursday, June 28th 8:30 at the Iron Horse

Orgone (high res)
Pronounced with a long second “O,” Los Angeles based Orgone delivers  heavy, raw, adrenaline-fueled funk and sweat-dripping soul rooted in old school respect but pulsing with the force of the new millennium. Orgone never fails to blow away crowds on the festival circuit, resurrecting and updating  the sound made famous by the Funky Meters, Booker T. & the MGs, Grant Green and Funkadelic among others.

The Fishtank Ensemble
Thursday, July 5th 7PM at the Iron Horse

For those in need of having their dervish whirled, the Bay Area's Fishtank Ensemble are the rompin', stompin' leaders of cross-pollinated Gypsy music. French fiddler Fabrice Martinez paid dues gigging Europe in a mule-drawn caravan, including stints in Romani villages. El Douje is the master of 21st-century flamenco guitar. Audience eyes tend to focus on Ursula Knudson, not only for her virtuosic saw playing and a voice that sings in octaves not yet invented, but also for her sensual beauty. The mix includes a ... rock-bottom upright bassist, and we have a young band that is one of the most thrilling live acts on the planet.

Grupo Fantasma, The Debo Band (co-bill)
Thursday, July 12th 7PM at the Iron Horse
Plus DJ Bongohead spins
Grupo Fantasma has been praised as one of the most important independent acts in the Latin genre and has continually defied expectations to create one of the most unique musical voices to come out of the United States in the last decade. In 2011 they garnered further acclaim by winning a Grammy (their second such nomination) for their self-produced release El Existential on Nat Geo Music which the Wall Street Journal called “Latin music both new and traditional…vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification.” “The ten members of Grupo Fantasma represent a new generation in Latin music.” – Washington Post

Debo Band (high res)

Since 2006, Debo Band has thrilled Boston-area audiences with their unique interpretations of classic Ethiopian popular music. Their performances bring together the best of the last forty years of Ethiopian music, with a reverence for the vintage sounds of the 1970s and a commitment to discovering contemporary gems, as well as developing new compositions – they scored the Ethiopian-produced short film, “Lezare,” in 2009. The band paid their dues playing neighborhood bars, church basements, and loft parties, and has emerged as an internationally recognized touring band, with performances at two international festivals in the last year alone.

 Ana Tijoux
Tuesday, July 17th 7PM at the Iron Horse
Before Ana Tijoux became one of the biggest names in Latin-American hip hop, she was a child of exile — born in France in 1977 to parents who had fled the repressive regime of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. It wasn't until 1990, when democracy returned to Chile, that the family returned home. Tijoux's breakout record, 1977, was a musical autobiography, in which she confronted her dual identity and what she calls a life of "shadow-boxing" with her parents' tormentors. But her newest album, La Bala, is focused squarely on the present; with Indignados in Spain, and the crisis in Greece, and  Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Oakland, and the global climate heats up her music.

Wake Up Madagascar
featuring Jaojoby, Razia Said, Charles Kely and Saramba

Friday, July 20th 7PM at the Iron Horse

The WAKE UP MADAGASCAR TOUR is a magical concert experience with a mission: to end illegal logging in the rainforests of Madagascar.  The show features outstanding musicians and dancers who create an uplifting celebration of salegy music.  The music that makes Madagascar dance with its heart pounding rhythms, rippling guitars, lush vocal harmonies, bouncy accordion and hip-shaking dance moves, salegy represents the soul and spirit of the island. FEATURING: Madagascar's most popular singer Jaojoby aka "The King of Selegy,"  Razia Said, a singer, songwriter and environmental activist, Charles Kely, a virtuoso guitarist from the highland plateaus, and Saramba, a female collective presenting upbeat songs and vibrant dance moves.

Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited
Sunday, July 22nd 7PM at the Iron Horse
Thomas Mapfumo has been a witness to and participant in history in his native Zimbabwe. From the bloody years of the country's liberation war in the '70s, right through the present economic and political crises, Mapfumo has used his revolutionary, spiritually charged music to decry injustice and highlight the historical and cultural issues that underlie the news headlines. Mapfumo is a musical visionary and a fearless social critic and certainly one of the greatest African bandleaders of the past century. Alternate Thomas Mapfumo photo (color/high res)

John Cruz
Wednesday, July 25th 7pm at the Iron Horse

plus Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

John Cruz (High res)
John Cruz is a Grammy winning singer songwriter from Hawaii (and attended UMass Amherst).  He's twice won the Hoku Award for Contemporary Album of the Year and distinguished himself as one of the most talented artists to ever come from Hawaii though it wasn't until he moved to the East Coast in 1983 that he developed his own style as a singer songwriter. He cut his musical teeth in subways, coffeehouses and bars in Greenwich Village, Martha's Vineyard, and Boston area. He was named the Best Singer Songwriter by Hawaii Magazine in 2008. He often collaborates with the like-spirited Jack Johnson.

Hot Club of Detroit
Tuesday, July 31st 7pm at the Iron Horse
More than seven decades after the innovations of the Quintette du Hot Club de France, featuring guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt, combos called Hot Clubs carry on the gypsy jazz sound around the globe-in Tokyo, San Francisco, Seattle, Sweden, Norway, Austria, and many other locales. None, however, offers a fresher take on the tradition than does the Hot Club of Detroit, led by fast-fingered Reinhardt disciple Evan Perri. "We kinda use the gypsy jazz thing as a springboard for all these wonderful ideas we have in our heads that we've grown up with here in Detroit," Perri explains. "In the future, I'd even like to incorporate some Motown stuff into this type of music."

Inner Visions
Saturday, August 11th 10PM at the Iron Horse

Inner Visions hail from St. John, US Virgin Islands. This once hidden treasure, is a family in every sense of the word (two Brothers and two Sons). Yet everyone they encounter is easily welcomed into their family as well. At a time when “Roots Reggae Music” is struggling to keep it’s identity intact, it is quite refreshing to find this band performing, recording and producing as well as they do. Melodic song writing, impassioned lead vocals and sweet three part harmonies are reminiscent of the best vocal groups of the seventies and indeed, their style bridges the gap between foundation reggae and other genres such as R&B, and rock.

Wednesday, August 29th 7PM at the Iron Horse
Freshlyground formed in early 2002, and is made up of seven talented and diverse musicians from South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Fronted by the diminutive but dynamic Zolani Mahola, the band exudes a live performance energy that has been the bedrock of their success. The experienced rhythm section of Peter Cohen (drums) & Josh Hawks (bass) is complimented by guitarist Julio Sigauque, keyboardist Seredeal Scheepers, Simon Attwell (flute, mbira, sax and harmonica) and violinist Kyla Rose Smith. Although hailing from diverse backgrounds, between them the band’s members weave a musical magic that is highly infectious and undeniably groovy.

Tickets for all shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center Street in are available at NBO aka Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413-586-8686 and online at

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