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  • Baaba Maal With Special Guest Playing for Change Join Yeasayer, Tinariwen and Fool’s Gold to Kick off 2010 Kcrw World Festival Series at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Jun. 20, 2010
  • Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 7 p.m.

    Tickets On Sale Now

    The LA Phil kicks off the 12th season of the KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on June 20, 2010 at 7 p.m. The program features African legends Baaba Maal and Tinariwen, and two exotic groups, Brooklyn-based Yeasayer and local outfit Fool’s Gold. Joining Baaba Maal is special guest Playing for Change, an ensemble of musicians from throughout the world.

    In the spirit of the World Festival series, each of these artists share a creative aesthetic. This program features artists who draw inspiration from their cultural roots and from rhythms around the globe, manifested as an organic musical experience that is felt as deeply as it is heard.

    Baaba Maal has risen from humble beginnings in a small Senegalese village to become an international world music star. His distinctive sound combines traditional African music with elements of pop, reggae, soul and R&B, and is influenced by artists from James Brown and Otis Redding to Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. In August 2009, Maal released the multi-lingual Television, his follow-up to the Grammy-nominated Missing You. “Television embodies the sound of the African future while simultaneously nodding over its shoulder at the pain, joy, suffering and beauty of the continent’s past.” – Paste magazine. In addition to managing a rigorous touring schedule, Maal will perform “8 Goals for Africa,” the United Nations campaign song for the 2010 World Cup, live in Soweto on the afternoon of the World Cup final on July 11th. Maal is also committed to the concerns of families, young people and the future of the continent, as is reflected in his role as Youth Emissary for the United Nations’ Development Programme. Baaba Maal last played the Hollywood Bowl in 2005.

    Since the release of their critically acclaimed 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals, Yeasayer has been around the world and back again. While their first record was conceived in total artistic isolation, constant touring forced Yeasayer to engage with their contemporaries. Inspired by musicians hell-bent on sonic experimentation as well as those more comfortable in a pop context, Yeasayer found their domain spanning across the musical spectrum. Studied, road worn, and eager to begin phase two, Yeasayer retreated to upstate New York to begin work on ODD BLOOD, released in February, 2010. ODD BLOOD is an album divided into two halves; the first being top heavy with pop songs, while the latter full of the playful and strange. SPIN called a "masterful mash-up of '80s synth pop and tribal-beat tickles." Yeaysayer makes their debut at the Hollywood Bowl.

    Tinariwen are icons of freedom and resistance among their own people, the nomadic Touareg of the Sahara. They play their music to teach us about the beauty of their desert home, the strength and dignity of the nomad and his way of life, and the problems of poverty, oppression and lack of development which continue to hamper their progress. The group was founded by Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Hassan Ag Touhami and Inteyeden Ag Ableline in Tamanrasset, southern Algeria, at the end of the 1970s. It was a period of great suffering in the desert, due to catastrophic droughts that almost destroyed the Touareg's ancient nomadic way of life. Tinariwen began to write songs describing the pain of exile, the longing for lost homes and families, the struggle for political and cultural freedom, and the rigors of everyday life in the desert. Ibrahim transposed the traditional melodies of the Touareg on the electric guitar, mixing them with blues, rock, pop, berber and arabic influences. Tinariwen created a modern desert rock sound, whose harsh simplicity was well suited to the realities of their situation. Lured into rebel training camps in Libya by Colonel Gadaffi in the early 1980s, Tinariwen became the official mouthpiece of the Touareg rebellion in northern Mali and Niger, and emerged as a desert legend. Now with three successful albums released, including the latest Aman Iman, numerous tours of Europe, USA and the Fear East, appearances at the most prestigious festivals and a BBC Award for World Music, Tinariwen have emerged as one of the most exciting and successful bands from Africa in recent times. Tinariwen make their Hollywood Bowl debut. The group performed at the World Cup kick-off concert on June 10th in Soweto as part of an “extraordinarily cosmopolitan line-up” that included Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Amadou and Miriam, the Soweto Gospel Choir, and Shakira and Freshlyground singing the tournament theme, "Time for Africa."

    Fool’s Gold is a Los Angeles collective that weaves together western pop aesthetics with African rhythms and melodies. Their songs are sung in both Hebrew and English. The group started as a side project of two young LA musicians, lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov and vocalist/bassist Luke Top (a native Israeli who emigrated to L.A. at an early age), who set out to explore their shared love of various forms of African and Arabic music, Krautrock, and 80s dance influenced pop music. They quickly wrote a few inspired songs and asked friends, friends of friends and even strangers to join them on stage. Not too long after their communal beginnings, Fool’s Gold developed organically into a full-time band. The cast of characters includes Garrett Ray on drums; Amir Kenan (childhood friend of Luke's from Israel) on backup vocals and keyboards; Brad Caulkins saxophones/flute and rhythm guitar; Matt Popieluch 2nd guitar; Salvador Placencia on percussion and a beautiful array of hand-made instruments. “…who else is weaving cantorial yearning through the tuneful electricity of Afro-Islamic jangle and the tribal antics of Adam & the Ants?” - L.A. Weekly. Fool’s Gold debut performance at the Hollywood Bowl kicks-off their North American summer tour.

    Playing for Change is an extraordinary effort to unite musicians and vocalists from diverse parts of the globe, while at the same time seeking to unite audiences through the power of music. Utilizing innovative mobile audio/video techniques, Playing for Change records musicians outdoors in cities and townships worldwide. Their performances are subsequently combined, allowing them to collaborate - albeit separated by hundreds, or even thousands, of miles. Playing for Change began a decade ago, the brainchild of Grammy-winning music producer and engineer Mark Johnson. For ten years Johnson and his team traveled the globe, with a single-minded passion to record little-known musicians for what would become Playing for Change - its name evoking the coins thrown to street musicians as well as the transformation their music inspires. Now, musicians from all over the world are brought together to perform benefit concerts that build music and art schools in communities that are in need of inspiration and hope. In addition to benefit concerts, the Playing for Change band also performs shows around the world. Playing for Change make their Hollywood Bowl debut.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 42nd season. In January 2009, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fifth year in a row at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood


    BAABA MAAL with special guest PLAYING FOR CHANGE




    Tickets ($12 - $120) are on sale now at, by calling 323.850.2000, in person at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12–6 p.m.), or through Ticketmaster. Groups of 10 or more may call 323.850.2050 for information about special rates, subject to availability.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; Photos: 213.972.3034