Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
Brooklyn-based soul-infused rock band Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds will kick off Super Bowl weekend by performing Led Zeppelin IV in its entirety. The show will take place at Brooklyn Bowl on January 31st and will feature the band’s take on such classic songs as “Stairway to Heaven”, “Black Dog” and “When the Levee Breaks”, in addition to fan-favorite originals. Following on the success of their last hometown show at Irving Plaza in November, the band conducted an online poll to select a classic album to cover, and fans selected Zeppelin IV as the winner by a large margin.
Grammy award-winner and former American Idol judge Randy Jackson produced the band’s recently released EP, Fight. The EP’s lead single and video for “The Long Way” were premiered in partnership with Billboard and Baeble, respectively. In 2014, the band will premiere new material at SXSW and continue on their extensive touring schedule. Since releasing their debut album in 2010, the band has brought their “stick-to-your-ribs style rock” (Wall Street Journal) nationwide, playing 150 shows across the country
in each of the past three years. In addition to appearing at major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, and Firefly, they have shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Trombone Shorty & New Orleans Avenue, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, among others.
Generating a well-deserved buzz in NYC’s exploding afrobeat scene, Zongo Junction electrifies dance floors wherever they perform. The Village Voice describes their live show as “Sheer energy with the force of a tractor-trailer that roars with power and noise.” With five horns, and a six-piece rhythm section, audiences can’t help but move no matter where the band is playing.
If the Talking Heads produced a Fela Kuti record of Sun Ra’s music, the product would probably sound something like Brooklyn’s Zongo Junction, and in an industry where it has become commonplace to watch bands perform with laptops & backing tracks instead of live musicians, Zongo Junction takes the stage 11 strong. "The only thing Zongo Junction has to do to start a legitimate dance party is show up and plug in – anyone within a square block earshot of this Ford-tough funk factory would be hard pressed not to join in the hoopla” says the Bay Area’s SF Station.
Zongo Junction formed in 2009, when drummer and California native, Charles Ferguson, returned from a six-month stay in Ghana, West Africa. “Growing up in the Bay Area, I was exposed to a lot of amazing music from many different cultures, a lot of which had roots in West Africa. As a kid, a few different music teachers introduced me to afrobeat, and the pioneers of the genre—Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, OJ Ekemode, Sunny Ade and others. My love of African music brought me to Ghana in 2008 and when I returned to New York, I knew I wanted to start this band.”
In college at the New School, Charles and a classmate put together a list of friends who they thought would be good fits for the band. Soon after they started rehearsing, Zongo Junction began performing and developing a following in East Coast clubs. They made their first album, Thieves! (2010), which included a collaboration with longtime Fela Kuti band member, Leon Kaleta Ligan-Majek, and quickly began performing at venues & festivals around the country including a residency at Brooklyn Bowl, a main stage performance at the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival in Florida, and an appearance at the Kennedy Center in DC. More recently the band has collaborated with FELA! cast member Abena Koomson. Members of the band have performed or recorded with TV On The Radio, Man Man, Easy Star All-Stars and The Walkmen, among others.
The band is hard at work recording their second album, scheduled for release in 2013. “In writing this music as a collective, a lot of really cool new influences have emerged,” points out tenor saxophonist Adam Schatz. The music on the album embraces the individual members’ interests, from Dirty Projectors, to Albert Ayler, Wu Tang to Meshuggah. At the music’s core, you will always find the infectiously danceable West African grooves that are the foundation of Zongo Junction. The band effortlessly ties it all together, resulting in a unique version of afrobeat.
For more information visit www.zongojunction.net or contact email@example.com
Zongo Junction is:
David Lizmi - Bass
Charles Ferguson - Drums
Morgan Greenstreet - Percussion
Jordan Hyde - Guitar
Ross Edwards - Keys
Adam Schatz - Tenor Saxophone
Matt Nelson - Tenor Saxophone
Jonah Parzen-Johnson - Baritone Saxophone
Aaron Rockers - Trumpet
Kevin Moehringer - Trombone