Live from Western Africa


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Prior to being forced to flee for their lives from their home, each member of the Refugee All Stars of Sierra Leone lived and worked in the capital city of Freetown, which was left relatively unscathed by the civil war that was so violently waged in the rest of the country. Soon enough, however, a Revolutionary United Front rebel campaign meaningfully dubbed "Operation: Destroy Every Living Thing" caused a mass exodus, with thousands fleeing to refugee camps scattered across the border regions of the Republic of Guinea. Eventually, after some people-shuffling and the establishment of new, safer camps away from the volatile border, a shared love of music and freedom brought the six Sierra Leoneans together. Many of the band's enchanting, uplifting songs are performed in English against spirited music that fuses organic hip-hop, reggae, and African folk/pop. They are the subject of a new feature-length documentary, The Refugee All Stars, and tour the U.S. in support of both the movie and its subsequent album, Living Like a Refugee. The band's Bay area stop is hosted by WMNF. Tues., June 20, 8 p.m., Skipper's Smokehouse, 911 Skipper Road, Tampa, $15 in advance/$18 at the door, 813-971-0666,

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