Bringing a piece of living Africa to our region, the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are scheduled to perform live at the City Opera House this Wednesday in Downtown Traverse City. A documentary of the same name showed Monday morning at the State Theater. Sharing their engaging, powerful story, this soulful band brings a big message–hope and optimism–to our small town.
Between 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone was engaged in a horrific civil war. The band was formed by members living as refugees in the Republic of Guinea, after being forced from their homes in Sierra Leone. Survivors lost more than their houses and land–many of their family members and friends were violently murdered in the revolt. In response to the overwhelming hatred and horror, the group responded with soul and ambition and converted their energies to uplifting music. Collectively, they choose to invest their efforts in a more hope-filled vision of the future. Using music, they found a “place of refuge, a sense of purpose and a source of power.”
Today, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars tour the world spreading their message of peace and love. Fans young and old will enjoy the “spirited fusion of traditional West African music, roots reggae and rhythmic traditional folk, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars craft music that transforms and uplifts.” The band has one song on the Blood Diamond soundtrack, so you may be somewhat familiar with their sound, even if you do not actually know of the group.