NEWS RELEASE: Rhythm & Soul for Relief–Concert for Japan, Haiti & the World

For Immediate Release

RHYTHM & SOUL FOR RELIEF: Concert for Japan, Haiti & the World
Featuring Dilated Peoples, Breakestra, Very Be Careful, Boogaloo Assassins & Others

The Echoplex on Sunday, May 22, 2011
All Proceeds Donated to Operation USA

Los Angeles, CA (April 8, 2011)—The Echoplex will host the inaugural Rhythm & Soul for Relief: Concert for Japan, Haiti & the World on Sunday, May 22. Net ticket proceeds from this night will be donated to Operation USA for their relief efforts in Japan, Haiti and other disaster zones.
Last year in response to the earthquakes in Haiti, Operation USA presented a nearly sold-out Haiti Relief Concert featuring Hepcat, Dengue Fever and others. Over $13,000 was raised for OpUSA’s work in Haiti. Based on the overwhelming response by music fans along with the need to support immediate and ongoing efforts in numerous affected areas around the world, OpUSA is launching this annual benefit and awareness concert series.
The soul-infused line-up features some of Los Angeles’ most popular home grown talent: hip hop trio Dilated Peoples (Rakaa, Evidence, DJ Babu), funk group Breakestra, cumbia band Very Be Careful, Latin soul outfit Boogaloo Assassins, new reggae all-stars The Good Times featuring Black Shakespeare, plus selectors DJ 2High (DPG Japan), Music Man Miles (Funky Sole/Root Down) and Tom Chasteen (Dub Club/Echodelic Soundsystem). Black Shakespeare (I&I Sound) will also emcee this event alongside veteran radio host Junor Francis.
Operation USA is a Los Angeles-based 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. Since 1979, OpUSA has worked in 99 countries, delivering over $350 million for relief and development projects.

Following the 8.9 earthquake and massive tsunami that hit northeast Japan, OpUSA is working with a well-established network of local partners to address immediate needs for material aid, with a focus on shelter and medical supplies. While further assessment is needed before committing to specific recovery projects, OpUSA will focus its efforts on supporting communities that may be overlooked by larger agencies or the Japanese government. Projects will be identified where the efforts can have the maximum impact.
Following the devastation in Haiti and the continuing struggles their people still face, OpUSA helped complete one of the largest post-quake rebuilding projects so far. Earlier this month, construction was completed for Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez, a new, state-of-the-art public school in the hard hit city of Jacmel. This nine-building complex will provide a new educational home to more than 400 local children in grades K through 7. In addition, a scholarship fund has been developed by OpUSA to help support expenses the students will incur during the year, including mandatory uniforms, books and supplies. A feeding program that will provide a hot meal every day for each student and community development programs are also being planned.

Unique to Operation USA is their policy that 96% of all money donated to relief efforts and programs are spent on direct support and materials for people in need; only 4% of money donated is available for operational costs or overhead. OpUSA is also unique in the way they identify and target aspects of the community that will make the most positive impact on peoples’ lives, including training that provides people with the sustaining skills.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door and available now through Doors open at 7pm with live performances from 8pm to midnight. The Echoplex is located at 1154 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 in downtown Echo Park, below The Echo (enter through the alley off of Glendale Blvd). Phone # is 213-413-8200. It’s an 18 and over, general admission venue.  
About the Performers: 
Dilated Peoples
The Los Angeles-based Dilated Peoples is an iconic hip hop crew that has managed to perform amazing feats on the thin line between underground and mainstream. Though they made much of their name performing live on the international club and festival circuits, they are also revered for their bona fide hip hop classic records like “Worst Comes To Worst” (featuring Guru) and “This Way” (featuring Kanye West and John Legend). They have also made worldwide names for themselves as solo artists with Evidence’s The Weatherman LP and The Layover EP; DJ Babu’s Beat Tape Instrumentals and Duck Season series; and Rakaa dropping 2010’s critically acclaimed Crown of Thorns album and staying in global demand as an event host. Dilated Peoples are always soldiers for the cause and supporters of the movement.
Breakestra was formed by multi-instrumentalist, composer, DJ and producer, Miles “Music Man” Tackett in 1997 as a live tribute to the ‘60s/’70s funk and soul-jazz music (breaks) that had been sampled in late ‘80s/early ‘90s hip hop beats. Though it was an 8-piece live ensemble of musicians, the sets were (and still are) played in the same seamless medley style as the original Bronx hip hop DJs of the pre-sampling 1970s. After releasing the Live Mix Part 2 in 2000 on Stones Throw, a recording capturing the original live hip hop/sample concept, Tackett and front man vocalist Mixmater Wolf decided to express their own soulful proclamations and recorded the all original funk-soul jazz (with a little hip-hop) album Hit The Floor released on Ubiquity Records in 2005. Their most recent all originals recording, Dusk Till Dawn (dedicated to the late Los Angeles angel DJ Dusk) released in 2009, expanded out stylistically to include some world psychedelic-funk sounds and also featured the debut of vocalist Afrodyete “the African Goddess of funky soul & love”. Live, you still get the non-stop, hip hop train of funk power but with the added flavor of the many Breakestra originals in the mix!
Very Be Careful
Very Be Careful is a homegrown L.A. band that plays Colombian vallenato music, a traditional Caribbean 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, L.A.’s 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, Escape Room (Barbès 2010), goes farther than just capturing the insane energy of their live shows. It’s a true modern monument to Vallenato which uses all the tools of genre’s pioneers without ever feeling anachronistic.
Boogaloo Assassins
Formed in Los Angeles in 2007, the Boogaloo Assassins are the West Coast’s modern answer to New York City’s Latin music explosion of the late 1960s. Heavily indebted to the classic sounds of Spanish Harlem, Los Asesinos serve up late 1960’s style salsa with Latin boogaloo, best described as a raucous fusion of American R&B with Cuban rhythms, sung in both English and Spanish. Perfect for any night, the Assassins’ live show is a youthful, high-energy, packed dance floor affair that lives up to the boogaloo legacy. For the Boogaloo Assassins the mission is simple: bring the people a funky good time, Latin-soul style. Los Asesinos have had the honor of sharing the stage with many of their favorite groups: Greyboy All-Stars, B-Side Players, Grupo Fantasma, The Aggrolites, Budos Band, Money Mark, Orgone, Breakestra, and The Lions at venues such as Sunset Junction Festival, El Rey Theatre, House of Blues, Echo Plex, Getty Museum Summer Sessions Series, and a year-long residency at LA’s The Mint.
The Good Times featuring Black Shakespeare
The Good Times is a dynamic new reggae band sprung from the Los Angeles music scene. Boasting an all-star line-up of musicians who have worked a vast array of artists in all styles of music, The Good Times is leading the charge in a resurgence of roots reggae mixed with jazz, dub, hip hop, and soul. Formed in 2011, the band includes front man Black Shakespeare along with a powerful horn section and airtight rhythm section.  With songs like “Mama Earth,” “One and All,” and “Catch Fleas,” The Good Times manage to rock the party and open minds all at the same time.            

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Operation USA                                                                 
Alison Deknatel                                            
Director of Communications                      

Event Organizers   
Sean Heitkemper  

Eric Kohler