NEWS RELEASE-Updated: KCRW presents Haiti Relief Concert for Operation USA, Saturday, Feb. 6

For Immediate Release

KCRW presents Haiti Relief Concert at El Rey Theatre, Saturday, Feb. 6th 2010


All Proceeds donated for Operation USA’s Relief Efforts in Haiti

Los Angeles, CA (UPDATE: February 4)–In response to the recent devastating earthquakes to hit Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas, KCRW presents and the historic El Rey Theatre hosts a Haiti Relief Concert on Saturday, February 6th. Ticket proceeds from this night will be donated to Operation USA’s Haiti relief efforts.

The worldly line-up on what would have been Bob Marley’s 65th birthday includes ska/rocksteady revivalists Hepcat; Cambodian-American indie-rock band Dengue Fever; a very special Reggae Greats Revue featuring Wailing Souls, Ras Michael, Elan, Angelo Moore & Norwood of Fishbone, Eljal and Jah Faith, all backed by The Revivers; cumbia band Very Be Careful; all-star reggae group The Lions; experimental rock outfit The Tuffingtons; Echodelic Soundsystem; and DJ Miles Perlich. The evening will be hosted by veteran radio DJ Junor Francis and Alexis de la Rocha of Live Daily.

Operation USA is an international relief agency that helps communities at home and abroad overcome the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid. OpUSA is appealing for donations of funds to send health care materials, water purification supplies and food supplements which they will ship to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and its surrounding areas from its base in the Port of Los Angeles.

OpUSA’s slogan is “Give and it gets there”. And it does, with 98% of every dollar donated going to on the ground relief. That’s why The Rockery, organizers of this event, chose OpUSA to receive the funds generated on February 6th. Every year millions of charitable donations never make it to their destination. “When you donate to Operation USA, you immediately start to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.”

“Ska”, the effervescent mid-’60s precursor to reggae, was as crucial to Jamaican pop as rockabilly was here in America, and while each endured for only a brief span of years, both of these influential styles constantly reoccur, thanks to cyclical eruptions of well-intentioned but oft-ludicrous revivalists. Ska stewards Hepcat are the noble exception to that rule, a band that has perfected the art of owning the style’s musical bedrock and upholding its traditions with excruciating precision even while informing it with carefully administered jolts of their own creative impulses. That’s a damn nifty trick, and over the course of the past two decades, despite several extended hiatuses, personnel departures, even death, Hepcat has remained an exemplary force, a group whose combination of technique, good taste and genuine sincerity results in music that is not only moving — it also really moves.” (Johnny Whiteside, LA Weekly)

Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever’s psychedelic take on the Cambodian pop sounds of the 60s makes them one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most unique success stories. They draw enthusiastic crowds from LA to the UK, from Maui to Moscow, and leave critics rummaging through their thesauruses looking for new superlatives to describe their sound. Dengue Fever is Chhom Nimol – who sang regularly for the King and Queen of Cambodia – Ethan Holtzman (keyboards), Zac Holtzman (guitar), David Ralicke (horns), Senon Williams (bass) and Paul Smith (drums). The band’s music has been featured in a number of film and television shows including City of Ghosts, Must Love Dogs, Broken Flowers, HBO’s hit series True Blood and twice on Showtime’s Weeds. They have released three albums, Dengue Fever, Escape From Dragon House, Venus On Earth and released their DVD/CD soundtrack to the documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong on April 14, 2009. They recently released Dengue Fever Presents: Electric Cambodia, a compilation of lost Cambodian classics from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Reggae Greats Revue

The Revivers will back an all-star cast of Jamaican music legends and some of Los Angeles’ finest singers. This revue type of showcase will feature duo Pipe and Bread of the Wailing Souls, Nyabinghi specialist Ras Michael, Angelo Moore and Norwood of Fishbone, long-time Wailers band singer Elan, Belizean singer Eljai, resident Dub Club toaster/MC Jah Faith, and Persephone Laird of Ocean 11 fame. The Revivers are a collective of musicians with deep roots in the Southern California ska/reggae scene, featuring members of The Debonaires, See Spot, The Skeletones and The Empire All Stars. They formed in 2007 with the sole intention of reviving the sounds of Jamaica from the late 60’s and early 70’s, by covering hits from that era. As a group, they have shared the stage with such greats as The Mighty Diamonds and Eric “Monty” Morris. Its members have also had the honor of playing in backing bands for such legends as Ken Boothe, Derrick Morgan, Dennis Alcapone and Stranger Cole.

Very Be Careful

Very Be Careful is a homegrown L.A. band that plays Colombian vallenato music, a traditional cumbia sound that centers around the accordion, backed with percussion and bass. Members include Ricardo “Ricky G” Guzman on accordion and vocals, Arturo “Brickems” Guzman on bass, Craig “Peabody” Martin on guacharaca, Dante “The Rip” Ruiz on campana, and Richard “Mil Caras” Panta on caja vallenata. From the streets of Austin’s SXSW and Germany’s World Cup Tour ’06 to the cultural pinnacles of Chicago’s Summer Dance Series, New York’s Central Park Summerstage, Los Angeles’ Grand Performances, Glastonbury Music Festival, and Fuji Rock Festival, to NY’s SOBs, LA’s House of Blues and backyard BBQs, VBC has tamed the beasts within or unleashed the ones without. They have performed alongside Joe Strummer, Alfredo Gutierrez, Antibalas, Carlos Vives, Dub Trio, Grupo Niche, Kronos Quartet, Gogol Bordello. VBC’s latest album, Horrible Club (Downtown Pijao 2009), is a collection of bootleg recordings from 1998-2009 and captures the reckless abandon of a VBC show where anything can happen.

The Lions
The Lions are Los Angeles’ premier 12-piece all-star reggae band featuring members of Hepcat, Orgone, Breakestra, Macy Gray’s band, The Expanders, Ocean 11, Connie Price & the Keystones and Rhythm Roots Allstars. The result of an impromptu recording session by some of the scene’s most soulful and notable musicians and singers, The Lions created grooves that went beyond Jamaican music by combining new and traditional rhythms, and dub mixing mastery with the global sounds of Ethiopia and Colombia. Their album Jungle Struttin’ was released on Ubiquity Records in 2008 and they are now releasing songs on their own Lions Bread Records – including the singer/DJ combination “This Generation” and the laid back instrumental “New Girl”. Their live set transcends any particular genre but is best described as a healthy mix of vocal and dub tracks, balancing classic reggae and soul cuts as well as new originals. The Lions have had the honor of being the backing band on two occasions for legends The Heptones, and have supported The Aggrolites, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Antibalas and Bedouin Soundclash.

The Tuffingtons
The Tuffingtons are a six-piece unit made up of native Angelenos, who have created their own blend of ska and disco, with a couple nods to bands like Television, Madness and Buzzcocks. They have called their music everything from AM punk to island-arena rock. The Tuffingtons are gaining a reputation for their live shows, which usually consist of something like animal ‘sacrifice’, and there is a very lifelike and life-size puppet. Their shows are better experienced than explained. Their debut full-length record, produced by Jacob Bercovici AKA Mr. Sandwiches (Warpaint, The Lady Tigra) will be out this summer. Their current EP Egregious will be released this February.

Tickets are $25 and will be available starting Saturday, January 23rd at 10am at, 1-800-745-3000, select Macy’s, all Ritmo Latino stores, and the El Rey’s restaurant Cowboys & Turbans. Cowboys & Turbans is open Monday thru Friday from Noon to 9pm and on show nights (cash only). If tickets remain, walk up sales will be available at the El Rey box office, opening at the door time on the night of the event. El Rey Theatre is located at 5515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. It’s an all ages, general admission, standing room only venue.

Thanks to Operation USA, The Rockery, Junor Francis, KCRW, Live Daily, LA Weekly, It’s Alive Media, Foundation Media, Shangri-La Music, Echodelic Soundsystem, Goldenvoice and El Rey Theatre for helping make this event possible.


Operation USA
Alison Deknatel
Director of Communications

Event Organizers
Eric Kohler

Sean Heitkemper

Junor Francis