Bonnaroo Announces globalFEST Tent: June 7-10

Today the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is excited to announce the creation of the globalFEST Tent. The latest in a series of successful and inspiring specialty venues the festival has developed, globalFEST will bring some of the most exhilarating musicians from around the world to perform throughout the day in one tent. The confirmed line up features: Debo Band, Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang, Khaira Arby, La-33, Pedrito Martinez and Red Baraat. Information on these wonderful artists is below.

Since it began nine years ago, globalFEST has become North America’s most influential showcase and festival of global music, centered around its annual multi-stage event in New York each January. Cofounders Bill Bragin, Isabel Soffer, and Shanta Thake produce the annual event and oversee the globalFEST Touring Fund, which provides much needed tour support for local and international artists to reach new markets throughout the US.

I’ve attended globalFEST every year for many years now, and I’m always blown away by the music that I discover there,” says A.C. Entertainment’s Ashley Capps. “The curators behind globalFEST are deeply aware of the most exciting music being created throughout the world, and they’ll bring their distinct vision and more than a little magic to Bonnaroo this year.”

globalFEST’s role in developing audiences for a wide variety of international music styles and to encourage artistic risk taking in the performing arts field has made significant strides for venues, audiences and artists alike,” explains Soffer. “We hope our mission to encourage cross-cultural exchange, support diverse programming, and develop meaningful cultural diplomacy relationships will create new opportunities within the performing arts field and beyond.”

Part of our goal has been what I half-jokingly refer to as ‘infiltration,’ says Bragin. “We’ve been successful in moving world music to the center of the conversation in the performing arts world and Bonnaroo represents a huge leap forward – to reach some of the most active, and open-minded indie-music audiences at one of the most beloved and best curated festivals in the country.

Through globalFEST’s ‘infiltration’ success, we are acknowledging that a younger audience now exists for world music,” Thake adds.

Information on the artists performing in the globalFEST tent is below:

Debo Band: Debo Band is not about recreating some mythical gilded age of Ethiopian pop. Taking cues from vintage and contemporary artists unsung in the West, they unleash rolling grooves, serpentine melody lines, and joyful vocals. A sound that won them a record deal on the     “Though their music is steeped in 1960s Ethiopian music, to me, they’re a rock band first. That means the beat is hard, the guitar is blistering, the horns are lyrical and you don’t have to understand what is being said to understand the emotions behind the voice. Their appeal is universal.” -NPR Music

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang: Hard-hitting beats from the grand master of Sierra Leonean bubu, an age-old ritual music turned modern hybrid thanks to a Brooklyn-based gang of musicians.

Nabay severely strips down this (traditional Bubu music) setup while preserving its teeming twitchiness, using keyboards and carburetor pipes to create a minimal but undeniably kinetic brand of music that he weds to socially conscious lyrics.“- Pitchfork

Khaira Arby: Arby’s music shifts seamlessly between the edgy and progressive and the traditional and deeply rooted. She turns to her mixed Berber and Songhai roots, blending ripping electric guitar with the forefather of the banjo and funky drum breaks with the traditional percussion of the scraper and the calabash.    “Shrouded in regal colors, she presides over a small army of brilliant African musicians, who create a hypnotic backdrop for her gloriously swooping vocals. On the live stage, she’s all showmanship and command.“-NPR Music

La-33: Colombia’s hottest salsa outfit is also its cleverest: on top of pitch-perfect originals, the band has won fans worldwide with its blazing, tongue-in-cheek shout out to the Pink Panther and Henry Mancini.

The three lead singers of La-33, from Bogotá, Colombia, were also its dancers. Colombia has become a latter-day stronghold for the Cuban-rooted salsa that thrived 30 years ago in New York City…Its own music was sleekly kinetic.“-New York Times

Pedrito Martinez: The Thelonious Monk International Jazz competition-winning percussionist and former Yerba Buena member has won the hearts of rock stars like Eric Clapton and Roger Waters and honed his groups near-telepathic communication, in music that ranges from traditional batá-rumba to Cuban jazz, son, and timba.     “A crowd-pleasing Cuban percussionist and singer now based in New York, who hybridizes his songs with touches of jazz, soul and hip-hop.”-New York Times

Red Baraat: An impossibly funky, New York-born mix of brass band-does-Bollywood extravaganza, bringing both Indian bhangrabeats and red-hot brass to the dancefloor-and more recently to the White House.     “Imagine a New Orleans street band playing Indian Bollywood tunes with a go-go beat – you can’t? The group uses their improvisational sound to blend the dhol, a double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum, with brass funk. It’s a crazy blast of fun.”–NPR


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