We seek your support to bring JANKA NABAY & THE BUBU GANG to Austin's prestigious South by Southwest Music Festival in mid-March and to east coast Sierra Leone diaspora communities in the Spring of 2011. Your contribution will go directly to supporting the tour and to funding travel expenses related to the eight-person band.
Janka and his band play music called “Bubu” that’s rooted in the processional songs of the Temne tribe in Sierra Leone. The message of Bubu music is grounded in humanitarian ideals that Janka celebrated and became famous for celebrating during the ten-year long civil war in Sierra Leone. Janka is a major icon in Sierra Leone, but he is still relatively unknown outside the country and its diaspora.
Janka Nabay in the Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/2010-11-10/music/janka-nabay-the-bubu-king-grows-in-brooklyn/
Janka Nabay's music video on Pitchfork.com, directed by Carlos Charlie Perez: http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/music-videos/1070-janka-nabay/2102-eh-congo/
With your support, we will play a tour that can bring Bubu music to Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Lexington, Nashville, New Orleans, Houston and eventually to play six shows in Austin where we've been invited to join showcases sponsored by Other Music, Urban Outfitters and International Tapes.
Janka Nabay first came to the popular consciousness of Sierra Leone when he took indigenous Bubu music and used this music to unite his war-torn nation. Despite his music being appropriated by rebels as their marching / killing themes, Janka was steadfast in his efforts to promote peace, mutual understanding and the empowerment of women.
Janka eventually fled the war and took up residence in the U.S. where he met public radio producer, Wills Glasspiegel who inspired Janka to make new Bubu music. Janka moved to Brooklyn and formed his band, the Bubu Gang, collaborating with top indie musicians in New York including Jon Leland, Doug Shaw, Boshra Saadi, Michael Gallope, Jason McMahon and Elliot Bergman. Janka released a debut EP album in 2010 with True Panther records called The Bubu King.
Janka's music and videos have been lauded by writers at publications such as the New York Times, FADER Magazine, WNYC, Pitchfork, Stereogum, the LA Times, and The Village Voice.
PROJECTED MARCH TOUR DATES
3/9 PITTSBURGH Brillobox w/ Delicate Steve
3/10 LEXINGTON Cosmic Charley's w/ Delicate Steve
3/11 NASHVILLE The End w/ Delicate Steve
3/12 ATLANTA Drunken Unicorn w/ Toro y Moi, Cloud Nothings
3/13 NEW ORLEANS One Eyed Jacks
3/14 HOUSTON Super Happy Fun Land
SXSW in AUSTIN, TX
3/16 4-4:45pm Urban Outfitters Tent
3/16 8:15pm Cherrywood Coffeehouse (Indie Radio Rocks)
3/16 9pm Cherrywood Coffeehouse (Indie Radio Rocks the World)
3/17 3:30 French Legation Museum (Other Music)
3/17 11pm Red 7 Outside Stage (Panache Showcase)
3/18 Mrs. Beas (International Tapes)
3/19 3:15 Brave New Books (Prince Rama Party)
"There was also an African apparition: Janka Nabay from Sierra Leone, wearing a straw skirt and singing and dancing to recorded tracks of what he said was a 500-year-old tradition called bubu music. The tracks were modern, and the beat, fast and skeletal and driven by bell taps, was unstoppable, demanding wider dissemination." Jon Pareles, New York Times
"Aside from being a delightful genre name to say aloud, Nabay has updated Bubu music from the traditional, flute-rooted folk songs of the area to breakneck rhythms played on sun-scarred keyboards and chintzy drum machines. The results are unexpectedly rich and pristine, and its hypnotic qualities are perfectly foiled by the urgency in his sing-speak vocals demanding gender equality and political reform. Little glimmers of harmony and electric guitar brighten the edges, making his "Bubu King" EP -- a collection of decade-old tracks never released outside Sierra Leone -- one of the most singular and enticingly new (well, new to America) sounds of recent months." L.A. Times
"Sierra Léone's Janka Nabay is the leading exporter of his country's dance music, a 500-year-old polyrhythmic sensation called bubu. Whoever missed his performance at PS 1's Warm Up on Saturday would do well to study this new video, wherein Nabay lipsyncs and shreds guitar in a white suit surrounded by cloud wallpaper reminiscent of Andy's in Toy Story 3. Real talk." Paper Magazine