Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars Concert
The Center for the Performing Arts at Eastern Kentucky University presents Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Concert
The Center for the Performing Arts at Eastern Kentucky University, scheduled to open in the fall of 2011, will present the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (SLRAS) in concert at Brock Auditorium on Sunday, September 19, at 7 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public.
The group was formed in 2004, made up of musicians who had fled to a West African refugee camp to escape the brutal war in Sierra Leone. The SLRAS burst onto the world stage in 2006 with the help of a moving documentary film that told their powerful and inspirational story. From these humble beginnings, the band went on to release one of the most acclaimed world music releases of the past few years (Living Like A Refugee). They have been profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, and in The New York Times. Now the group tours the world in a “can’t help but dance” show, including performances at the Hollywood Bowl, NYC Central Park Summerstage, Bonnaroo and many more. In March 2010, the band released their second album, Rise and Shine.
The performance complements the EKU Reads program, a shared learning experience open to all EKU first-year students focused around the selection of a common book. The 2010 book is “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah. Set in Sierra Leone it tells the story of the author’s journey as an involuntary boy soldier. The author, Ishmael Beah, will speak at EKU on October 5.
Many organizations are partnering with the Center to support the performance by the SLRAS. At press time, these partners included the Madison County Public Library, the Richmond Area Arts Council and the Berea Arts Council, and the following EKU partners: Continuing Education and Outreach; Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Social Work; Department of English & Theatre; and African/African-American Studies.