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Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars


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West African refugee camps

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars started playing music together in West African refugee camps while their homeland was being racked by years of bloody warfare. Since then, audiences around the world have embraced the band and their utterly extraordinary story. On their forthcoming album, Rise & Shine, the All Stars’ sound, as well as their biography, evolves further; the music finds them “establishing an identity based as much on skill, imagination and charisma as on their undeniably touching story” (The Los Angeles Times). Cumbancha will release the album on March 23, 2010.

For the follow up to their acclaimed debut, Living Like a Refugee, the band began recording in their hometown of Freetown, Sierra Leone then traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana to work with the highly accomplished producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Angélique Kidjo, Rickie Lee Jones, Michelle Shocked, Alec Ounsworth, Jackie Greene) at Piety Street Recording. The All Stars immediately felt at home in New Orleans, not only because the hot climate and spicy food reminded them of Africa, but also because the residents of the Crescent City have firsthand experience with the bitterness of exile and the redemptive power of music. The local musicians who contributed to the record—including favorites Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Bonerama and Washboard Chaz—lend it an infectious spirit of celebration and optimism in the face of struggle.

Rise & Shine reflects how far the band has come in the past few years, after multiple international tours and recording experience with the likes of Aerosmith and Mavis Staples.


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  • Cat_007


    5 Aug 2012 Reply
  • brun-o

    wow, can't believe how long I took do listen to this. buy their album, support!

    25 May 2012 Reply
  • xxLallyxx

    Radio Salone - summer album of 2012! :D

    29 Apr 2012 Reply
  • necrorgasmique

    perfect live show yesterday @ savigny le temple, thank you for the honest music guys

    13 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Pafgadget

    Great music !

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Ikemania20

    My parents were missionaries in Sierra Leone, and I was born and raised there for the the first four years of my life, and it makes me so happy that this band is making such a big impact in the country and the world! Sierra Leone is still close to my heart and it's so amazing to see great things coming from a country that was torn apart with war for about 10 years! Truly inspiring music, and very talented musicians!

    23 Mar 2010 Reply
  • hsann

    omg i love them so much ..even more heart trusting because im of sierraleonean decent

    4 Jun 2009 Reply
  • johnheavey

    Fans, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a remarkable documentary chronicling a band of six Sierra Leonean musicians over three years, from Guinean refugee camps back to war-ravaged Sierra Leone is now available on iTunes. All you have to do is click the link below and you will be brought straight to the iTunes store for viewing:

    23 Jun 2008 Reply
  • etidnj13

    Up-and-coming African artists have united to benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. The result is Africa Celebrates U2. A compilation of African artists covering U2 songs. Check it out here:

    22 Mar 2008 Reply
  • alexashton

    This band is so much fun live...I've never seen a band have such a good time and be so happy to be playing together.

    30 Sep 2007 Reply
  • LonerRD

    check out the anti-label for 2 free mp3s. great stuff!

    26 Sep 2006 Reply