Idrissa Mallam Bangura, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Bassist, Passes
Idrissa Mallam (Mallam) Bangura passed away unexpectedly this past week in his hometown of Freetown, Sierra Leone. There will be a celebration of his life this week in Sierra Leone with musicians from around the country gathering to pay tribute. Donations to help support his wife and six month old baby can be made via checks payable to 'The Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone' and forwarded to:
For more information and to view pictures of Mallam, please visit RefugeeAllStars.org >>
Thank you for anything you can do to help.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Release New B-Sides Album Positive Revolution
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have just released a 12 song collection of B-Sides and rarities from their earliest recordings entitled Positive Revolution. The album is available in digital download format only and includes some raw demos straight from the refugee camps (as featured in the documentary film), as well as original studio recordings that were not released on their debut album Living Like A Refugee. Standout tracks include an acoustic version of Weapon Conflict, the Freetown via Motown R&B vibe of Mental Slavery and the sax flavored highlife of Kelemanghi.
To purchase the album, go to: sierraleonesrefugeeallstars.portmerch.com>>
To preview tracks, go to: myspace.com/therefugeeallstars >>
Award-Winning Documentary "Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars" Available Now on iTunes
The acclaimed documentary "Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars" is now available for worldwide purchase on iTunes. The inspiring film follows the bands incredible journey, from living the refugee life as a result of the brutal civil war in their native Sierra Leone, to recording their first album. This heartbreaking yet life-affirming story won thirteen major awards, including honors at the AFI Film Festival, Miami Film Festival and Human Rights Watch Film Fest and was also aired on PBS nationwide on the Independent Documentary Film Series, Point of View (POV). Filmmakers Zach Niles and Banker White have partnered with New Video to make the remarkable film available to an even wider fan base through iTunes and to continue spreading the films positive message of hope and peace.
"Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars" is available on iTunes >>
Stay tuned for upcoming tour dates for Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars >>
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Nominated as Best African Entertainers in International Reggae & World Music Awards
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars were honored with a nomination for Best African Entertainer for the 2007 International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA). The awards ceremony will be held at Harlems Apollo Theater on Sunday, May 4th at 7 p.m. Eastern. In its 27th year, the objective of the IRAWMAs is to promote reggae and world beat music as an art form and honor entertainers and others associated with world music for their contributions to the industry and humanity internationally. Fans can purchase tickets for the event at ticketmaster.com or at the Apollo Theater box office: (212) 531-5305.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars currently do not have any immediate tour plans, but stay tuned to this site for any updates.
Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars Featured On In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2, In Stores April 1
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars appear with Aerosmith's Joe Perry on a cover version of U2's "Seconds" for the compilation CD, In The Name Of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 (Shout! Factory). Set for release April 1st, the album features original interpretations of classic U2 songs by 12 artists, each representing a different region of Africa. Celebrating the music, culture and future of Africa, this compilation is an unprecedented musical homage to Bono and U2 for their ongoing humanitarian relief efforts aiding the country. A portion of the album's proceeds will directly benefit The Global Fund, created to finance a turn-around in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The All Stars continue on their current Winter Tour, wrapping up their successful North American run at the Langerado Music Festival on March 7. ..see tour dates >>
You can also listen to band leader Reuben Koroma and rapper Black Nature's recent appearance on NPR's News and Notes program >>
Bettye LaVette, Mavis Staples And More Rosebud Artists Recognized In Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll
Rosebud artists Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples scored spots in the top 35 of Village Voice's annual "Pazz & Jop Poll" for LaVettes Scene Of The Crime and Staples We'll Never Turn Back. The annual poll combines ballots from 577 critics Top 10 lists to acknowledge the best albums of 2007. Additional Rosebud artists whose CDs were honored were Bill Frisell (for his work with Floratone and with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano) Loudon Wainwright III, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ruthie Foster, Pieta Brown, Ann Savoy and the late Muddy Waters. Compilations that featured Rosebud artists were Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars), Goin Home: A Tribute To Fats Domino (Allen Toussaint, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Trombone Shorty and Marcia Ball) and Song Of America (The Blind Boys of Alabama and Bettye LaVette).
See the full list of albums at: Village Voice's annual "Pazz & Jop Poll" >>
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars' "Black Nature" featured on MTVus "Cause Effect" Program
Black Nature, the youngest member of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, is featured on an episode of MTVu's program "Cause Effect," airing this Wednesday, December 12th. Cause Effect profiles student activists who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to change the world in a positive way, those committed to real causes and making a real difference. While Nature and other band members once lived in a refugee camp as a result of Sierra Leones brutal civil war, they have already begun helping others still in need through their work with the United Nations' ninemillion.org campaign, Amnesty International, the ONE campaign, Witness and numerous others in the U.S. and internationally, speaking out for peace and against the insanity of war while calling attention to issues in Africa and the plight of refugees throughout the world. This Cause Effect episode focuses on Black Natures work with the ninemillion.org campaign, his personal experiences with the civil war in Sierra Leone, and his work as a recording artist. The piece can be seen on the MTVu channel or online. Nature will be touring with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars from January 23 - March 7, 2008. See tour dates >>
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars On The Road And Beyond
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are rolling on the first leg of their US/Europe summer tour. The group overcame a series of travel complications to launch the trek June 8 at the Jackson Hole Film Festival in Wyoming, followed by the Detroit Festival of the Arts and a special performance for the ONE campaign in Washington, D.C. Another early highlight of the tour was an appearance on NPR's Talk of The Nation June 12, the same day the compilation Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur - featuring SLRAS and Aerosmith performing "Give Peace A Chance" - hit stores. The band is collaborating with many charitable organizations on the tour, including ninemillion.org, Witness, the Peace Corps, Immigrant Rights, Save The Children and more. This summer marks SLRAS first full US tour with Grace Ampomah, wife of leader Reuben M. Koroma and a major focus of the groups award-winning documentary. The film airs on PBS June 26 and will be distributed nationwide via Red Envelope Entertainment, a Netflix subsidiary, in early August.
"Living Like A Refugee" Set For Australia / New Zealand Release On March 24 by ABC Music
Living Like A Refugee, the debut album by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, will be released in Australia and New Zealand on March 24 by ABC Music. The release coincides with the band's first Australian tour starting with the West Coast Blues and Roots Festival on March 31 followed appearances in Melbourne, Sydney and the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival in Byron Bay. See Press Release >>
Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars Performing at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland - Also Featured on NPRs World Café
Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars will perform at the World Economic Forum, an annual conference that brings together the worlds top political and business leaders, in Davos, Switzerland later this month. Sierra Leones Refugee All Stars will be featured at two separate events at the invitation of the UNHCR as part of their efforts to bring attention to the ninemillion.org campaign and the plight of refugees around the globe. The band will also be featured on NPRs World Café on Wednesday January 17th. The broadcast will include an interview between host David Dye and the band as well as excerpts from their live show. Go to NPRs World Café for local station listings or you can listen online to the WXPN/Philadelphia stream. After the broadcast, the audio will be available on the NPR website.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Early January Mountain Stage Radio Broadcast
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars will be featured on Mountain Stage radio's syndicated broadcast to be aired beginning January 5, 2007. The show, featuring their performance as well as sets by Alejandro Escovedo, John Gorka, Sasha Dobson, and Jess Klein will be distributed to public radio, XM, and Voice of America. Most affiliates will broadcast the program that weekend (XM channel 13 January 6 at 4pm ET) and the remainder throughout that week. Mountain Stage will stream the show continually on its website for one week beginning January 12.
The Mountain Stage program is a two-hour radio show recorded before a liveaudience in Charleston, WV. Each program features four or five guests, playing a three- to six-song segment each. You can hear the web broadcast at MountainStage.org >>
OPRAH! - Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dec 4!
Tune in Monday to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars will perform "Living Like A Refugee" from their new CD and Oprah will discuss their story and show excerpts of the award winning documentary on the group. Leonardo DiCaprio will also appear in the episode, discussing his new film, Blood Diamond, set during Sierra Leone's civil war which resulted in The All Stars fleeing their country and becoming refugees.
Please note that the DVD of the documentary, as well as CDs and tee shirts are now available online at ONLINE STORE >>
Rosebud Artists Honored on Amazon's Best Music of 2006
Amazon.com has released their annual picks for Best Music of the Year and Rosebud artists Allen Toussaint, JJ Cale, Ann Savoy, Charlie Musselwhite and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are among those honored. Allen Toussaint's CD The River In Reverse with Elvis Costello was recognized in the Top 100 Editor's Picks list. JJ Cale & Eric Clapton's The Road To Escondido appears as #37 on the Customer's Top 100 list. Charlie Musselwhite's Delta Hardware was recognized as the #1 CD of the year in the Blues category, while Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars debut CD Living Like A Refugee was selected as the #4 CD of the year in the International category. Ann Savoy of The Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band appears twice in both the Customer's Top 100 list and #3 in the Folk category for her CD Adieu False Heart with Linda Ronstadt. Congratulations to all.
For more information and to purchase CDs, please visit Amazon's Best Music of 2006 >>.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars joined by Aerosmith's Joe Perry and Steven Tyler to Kick Off US Tour
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars kicked off their North American tour on October 20 at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville joined by surprise special guests Joe Perry and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. Joe Perry joined the band halfway through their set, lending his guitar licks to several of "The Refugees" songs. Steven Tyler then joined in on an extended reggae medley jam. The two had been moved by the documentary on their group and have been lending their support ever since. Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars will open for Aerosmith at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Nov 29.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars' tour dates >>
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars CD Living Like A Refugee Hits Stores September 26
On September 26, Anti Records will release Living Like A Refugee by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. The group's story is told in 'Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars', one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the past year. The film traces their incredible journey from escaping their native Sierra Leone in West Africa during that country's brutal ten year civil war, through some of the horrors that followed and along the way proving the healing power of their music. The band completed a triumphant seven week tour of the US, Canada and Japan this summer with featured sets at Bonnaroo, Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, headlining Summerstage in New York's Central Park among other jazz, folk, rock and world music festivals proving the breadth of their appeal. They will tour worldwide following the release of the new CD. see tour dates.
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JJ Cale and Refugee All Stars Documentaries Feature on the International Film Festival Circuit
The JJ Cale and Refugee All Stars documentaries continue to be featured at film festivals worldwide. "The Refugee All Stars" film has won 7 major awards at various festivals including AFI International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival. The JJ Cale documentary, "To Tulsa And Back - On Tour with JJ Cale", has played at IDFA Amsterdam, Hof International Film Festival, DOK.Fest in Munich, Docaviv Israel and Nashville Film Festival. "To Tulsa And Back" will be released on DVD by Time Life on June 13 in the US. Both films will be featured at the upcoming Seattle International Film Festival with Refugee All Stars screening Sat, June 10 and Tues, June 13 and To Tulsa and Back screening Wed, June 14 and Sun, June 18.
J J Cale and Refugee All Stars Documentaries Double Bill at Nashville Film Festival
JJ Cale and Refugee All Stars documentaries will, coincidentally, be featured in consecutive screenings at the upcoming Nashville Film Festival on April 24. The award-winning Refugee All Stars documentary chronicles the journey of a group of musicians who came together in the refugee camps of Guinea after fleeing the civil war in Sierra Leone. To Tulsa And Back, the JJ Cale documentary, follows the legendary musician and songwriter on his most recent tour including a visit to his childhood home and high school and interviews with many of his long time friends and associates. Watch for the Cale documentary to be available on DVD in North America in late June.
For more information on the Nashville Film Festival, please go to Nashville Film Festival >>
The Refugee All Stars - Documentary Awards, NPR Feature
The Refugee All Stars continue to make headway on multiple fronts - even prior to securing distribution for their award winning film and accompanying CD. On the weekend of April 8 - 9, NPR aired an interview with the group on "Studio 360" and they will have additional coverage on NPR coming shortly on The World.
The documentary on the group also won two major awards that same weekend at the prestigious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival including the Grand Jury Filmmakers award as well as the Emerging Pictures Audience Award (bestowed on the winner of voting by audiences in 11 cities). The film also won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the AFI Film Festival, Audience Favorite award at the Miami Film Festival and was runner up in the same category at the SXSW Festival. Congratulations to the group and to the filmmakers, Zach Niles and Banker White on the success of the film.
The band's summer tour continues to add major events such as Bonnaroo, Montreal Jazz Festival, Torontos Power of Place Festival, New York Summerstage, Japans Fuji Rock Festival, Fete de la Musique in Miami, Chicago Folk & Roots Festival, and many more dates across North America. We'll advise news on plans to release the group's CD and for theatrical distribution of the documentary in the coming months.
The Refugee All Stars Featured at SXSW - the music and media extravaganza in Austin, TX which brings together artists and music professionals from around the world.
Thursday, March 16
Rosebud Signs The Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone
The Rosebud Agency is proud to announce exclusive worldwide representation of The Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone. The band's story is documented in a compelling and emotionally-driven film, "The Refugee All Stars", which premiered at the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival in November 2005 and took home the award for Best Documentary. The Refugee All Stars are comprised of Sierra Leonean musicians who lived for years as refugees in the West African nation of Guinea. All of the members of the band lived in or around Sierra Leone's capital city, Freetown, before a rebel war in 1999 forced a panicked mass exodus to neighboring countries. Born in the Kalia Refugee Camp in 2001, The Refugee All Stars began writing original music on impossibly worn instruments and performing for their fellow refugees. Today they are nominated for "Best New Artist" at the Sierra Leone Music Awards and recently performed for a crowd of 15,000 at the National Stadium in Freetown.
For more info on the film and the band, please visit the official site refugeeallstars.org >>