Born out of the excruciating hardship of civil war, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars now play buoyant, joyful music that serves as a beacon of hope for those in similar circumstances. Displaced by the war from the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown along with thousands of others, the musicians found one another in a Guinea refugee camp and started playing on battered instruments that a relief organization had managed to scrounge up. Their story was told in a 2002 documentary film, and the group subsequently recorded its debut album, Living Like a Refugee, for Anti- in 2006. While obviously referencing the past, their music is a forward-looking tribute to happy resilience, stirring up an intoxicating blend of roots reggae, traditional music, and Afro-pop.
Fri., June 19, 7 p.m., 2009