Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart has made a career of introducing his audiences to some of the world’s great musicians, from Tibet’s Gyuto Monks to Planet Drum (percussionists from India’s Zakir Hussain to Brazil’s Airto Moreira). His current all-star ensemble the Mickey Hart Band brings special guests African Showboyz to kick off the official 11-day Ashkenaz anniversary celebration (March 7-17), “40 Years Dancing for Peace.” The African Showboyz are five brothers from the northern part of Ghana who fuse a unique blend of West African rhythm, dance, and raw energy.
Originally discovered by Grammy-winning virtuoso Babatunde Olatunji, the African Showboyz have performed at Ashkenaz in recent years and shared other stages with Stevie Wonder, Fela Kuti, Fema Kuti, Arrested Development, and many more. In November, in addition to their Ashkenaz appearance, the African Showboyz joined the Mickey Hart Band on their final three shows of 2012. They received such an overwhelming response that Hart decided to bring them out on tour. The African Showboyz open this concert and join the Mickey Hart Band throughout the night, transforming the Mickey Hart Band into a 12 piece ensemble with a total of seven percussionists and seven vocalists.
Mickey Hart is best known for his nearly three decades as an integral part of an extraordinary expedition into the soul and spirit of music, disguised as the rock and roll band the Grateful Dead. As half of the percussion tandem known as the Rhythm Devils, Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann transcended the conventions of rock drumming. Their extended polyrhythmic excursions were highlights of Grateful Dead shows, introducing the band’s audience to an ever-growing arsenal of percussion instruments from around the world. The two-time Grammy Award-winner continues to explore world music roots and incorporate them into his own musical vision, with ever-changing band lineups (as well as various regroupings with fellow former Grateful Dead members).
The Mickey Hart Band consists of Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, Grammy-winning percussionist and longtime bandmate Sikiru Adepoju, Tony Award-winning vocalist Crystal Monee Hall, singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Bagale, drummer Greg Schutte, guitarist Gawain Matthews, and keyboardist Jonah Sharp. JamBands.com gave the band’s recent tour stop in NYC rave reviews, stating that “Mickey Hart is nothing short of a musical genius and it shines through in everything he does. Whether he’s working with George Lucas, NASA, or throwing together a unique group of musicians for a band, it’s apparent that Mickey isn’t satisfied doing the same old thing...”
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).