Powerhouse band blends krautrock, prog rock, electronica, free jazz and funk with Sudanese pop

Points North Institute brings Brooklyn sensation ‘Sinkane’ to Rockland July 6

Mon, 07/01/2019 - 11:30am

ROCKLAND—On Saturday, July 6, the Points North Institute will host the annual CIFF Summer Preview Party at the Bicknell Building in Rockland, featuring a band worth coming out for.

Sinkane is the featured band for the After Dark party that evening, up from Brooklyn, and along with some fiery, danceable music, their music taps deeply into today’s social and political climate. Sinkane is a Sudanese-American, five-piece band who blend krautrock, prog rock, electronica, free jazz and funk with Sudanese pop.

Ahmed Gallab is the main force behind the band. Born in London to Sudanese parents, raised in Ohio, and now calling New York City home, the former skate punk turned afro funk whiz Ahmed Gallab penned an essay on the release of their new album. “I’m not a newbie to hate: I’m black, Muslim and even though I'm an American, I'm often made to feel like a foreigner in my own country,” he wrote. “And sometimes I do feel like a foreigner...I’ve made a lot of music out of my life story but I’ve always kept things vague enough that anyone listening to my music could relate to it on their own terms.”

Other members of the band include guitarist Jonny Lam who is Chinese, keyboardist Elenna Canlas, who is is Filipina, drummer Chris St. Hilaire , who is Trinidadian, and bassist Michael “Ish” Montgomery, who is Black American.

The band’s latest album, titled Dépaysé — comes from a French word that basically means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings.”

“It’s easy to be angry in moments like now,” he said. “And that’s OK. But it takes courage to turn that anger into productive energy. The previous Sinkane album, 2017's Life and Livin' It, was released at a very crazy time: things like the Muslim ban, police shooting unarmed people of color, massive corruption in my native Sudan, fake news, Donald Trump, Brexit and so many other calamities all really forced me to think about my place in the world as a musician. I beganto think about how I could use my music in a constructive way —not only to help myself but to help others who feel frustrated and powerless.”

Annie Brown, Points North Institute’s Operations & Communications Manager said they are excited to showcase Sinkane. “We discovered Sinkane through our friends at Space Gallery in Portland,” she said. “First off, we love the spirited, enthusiastic music. And, secondly, we love the band's message and ongoing discussion about what is happening here. Truth is an important commodity these days."

Check out their first single "Everybody,” (embedded video) filmed at Brazil’s world renowned samba school in Rio de Janeiro, a song that takes that feeling of being a foreigner and turns it on his head. Instead of feeling along, this song embodies what Sinkane is about, a celebration of inclusivity, of well, everybody.

Tickets to the Summer Preview Party are tiered to provide the most accessibility, and are available at pointsnorthinstitute.org/rsvp. Tickets to the entire evening, including the After Dark Sinkane performance start at $95. Tickets to the After Dark portion only are $30.

For tickets and more information: pointsnorthinstitute.org/rsvp/

Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com