Three years ago when Estella Sanchez went to SXSW in Austin, one of the largest music festivals in the world, she felt there were no venues for the sounds she gravitates toward -- traditional global music that mixes contemporary beats and socially conscious messages.
So, she and a few others created their own space called Global Local, where performers and artists like herself can get together with the larger SXSW community. The event was meant to get like-minded musicians in one venue and also to learn about non-profit groups in Austin working on issues around social justice.
Now, she is bringing the concept of Global Local to Sacramento. The event is organized by the non-profit Sol Collective (Sanchez is a co-founder), a community center dedicated to the arts, culture, activism and healthy living.
“We’re hoping it’s the first of many collaborations,” says Sanchez. “It also tries to get everybody together before the end of summer and enjoy the last bits of sunshine.”
Global Local attendees can expect an impressive musical lineup for Sacramento’s first edition. Many of the performers have gotten attention from critics and music bloggers alike, not just for their unique sounds, but also their socially conscious content.
If there was a theme weaved into the event, Sanchez says it would be about a new generation trying to stay connected with their traditions while incorporating sounds of today’s youth such as hip-hop, electronic and dubstep.
A lot of the music is coming from the next generation trying to stay rooted and connected with their culture,” she says.
Here’s a quick look at some of the performers:
First up is World Hood. Sanchez is not only co-founder of Sol Collective, but she makes up half of World Hood. Sanchez lends her vocals to beats created by partner Anand Parmar. Their work incorporates global sounds, combining Mexican, African, Indian and Carribean rhythms with West Coast hip-hop.
A Tribe Called Red is a trio from Ottawa, Canada famous for creating a new genre of music known as “pow wow step.” The group is well-known in their country, playing to sold-out shows and garnering nominations for prestigious awards. Their sound is a powerful and energetic blend of traditional pow wow music fused with dubstep and electronic music.
The songs honor the group’s aboriginal background and reflects today’s urban culture. During performances, A Tribe Called Red redefines and reclaims native imagery using videos and traditional dances.
Low Leaf is a Filipina musician from Los Angeles. She taps into her cultural background to create a soulful sound. Low Leaf sings and plays the harp, guitar and the piano. This year, she played in the Philippines at a festival featuring artists such as Robert Glasper and Roy Ayers.
A number of Sacramento poets and emcees will also be at Global Local. Sanchez says many of them are artists with a political and social message.
Sanchez says it’s unique to have this lineup in Sacramento.
“Usually it’s just traditional music, but this mix is unique,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to pool in these artists and hopefully grow a local fanbase.”
The musical acts also stay true to Sol Collective’s focus on activism and the use of art for collective storytelling.
“I think art in general is an amazing tool for these messages around social justice,” she says.
“It’s a way to summarize what’s happening in their communities or what’s happening around them, often in a creative way and it helps to have a nice beat.”
Global Local is a free event and will feature vendors and community groups around healthy living and culture. Some of the activities available on Aug. 29 include: a food labyrinth installation, garden crop swap, toys and books exchange, canoe-making demonstration and more.