Chris Berry & Panjea - May 8th & 9th, 2006
"Bombastic Beats, Phat Brass and Revolutionary lyrics. If you don't dance you will." - L.A. Times
"Chris Berry picked up where Paul Simon left off," says Michael Kang, violinist and mandolin-player for The String Cheese Incident. "Chris' music glides across all racial and ethnic lines making everyone feel at home within the music. The conscious lyrics are a road map for humanity and Chris is one of the few people able to carry this message to a wide audience."
Berry's story "sounds like it was written by a Hollywood script writer" (Steve Leggett, All Music Guide). Maybe that is because it is hard to believe that a California White boy moved to Africa, became a spirit caller, and went on to sell over a million records in Southern Africa, where he still sells out stadiums. Now he is positioned to do the same in America.
A lot of small-town American kids flee home as soon as they hit legal age, in search of something. Many find their way back home, but few journeys match those taken by Berry. After over a decade living in Africa, Berry has now settled back in America following the edict given to him by African ancestor spirits to make a difference here, launching a slew of new activities to convey his message of justice and peace. His renewed American mission launches when Chris Berry and his band Panjea release Dancemakers, on Wrasse Records on April 18, 2006. Berry has drafted String Cheese's Michael Kang for new collaborations in Africa and for a May 2006 American tour supporting the new album.
But Berry is keeping busy with other efforts as well. He recently composed a 13-song CD accompanying Mine & Yours, Human Rights for Kids, Amnesty International's first illustrated guide for young children, consisting of one song for each of the thirteen Children's rights. Saxophonist and global consort leader Paul Winter has recruited Berry for Flyways, a musical celebration CD of the great annual bird migrations from Eurasia to Africa. Berry is creating a massive pan-African orchestra consisting of musicians from each country that the birds pass over, from Germany to South Africa.