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Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Live at Bicentennial Park

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by Mark Subel on September 4, 2012

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department welcomes renowned world music group Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars to Bicentennial Park on Fri., Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. for a free performance as part of the Rhythm on the River series. Food and beverages will be available for purchase beginning at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars are a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. The group draws influences from reggae, funky African grooves and deep tribal chants.

Formed in a refugee camp while displaced by civil war in Sierra Leon during the 1990’s, their incredible story is documented in the award winning, compelling and emotionally driven film, “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.” Initial support for the film came from executive producers Steve Bing and Shelley Lazar as well as high profile celebrities Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Angelina Jolie. The resulting studio album, Living Like A Refugee (Anti Records 2006), is one of the most acclaimed world music releases in recent years, garnering the band international acclaim and high profile fans including Aerosmith, who the All Stars collaborated with on the certified Gold Record, Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.

Rhythm on the River features an eclectic series of touring artists, local musicians and arts organizations. Produced by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the 2012 series will present seven free outdoor performances in Bicentennial Park. In addition to Rhythm on the River, Bicentennial Park is also home to Movies on the Mile and FountainSide presented by Sunny 95 (94.7 FM). All performances and programs are free and open to the public. For more information on free programs along the Scioto Mile, please visit www.SciotoMile.com.

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