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      SOJA in South Burlington


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      April 3, 2019

      Wednesday   7:30 PM

      1214 Williston Road
      South Burlington, Vermont 05403

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      SOJA

      with Passafire, Iya Terra
      Nearly two decades ago, SOJA began as high school friends in a D.C. area basement teaching each other to be musicians and play roots reggae music. Today, the 2x GRAMMY-nominated eight-piece band, with over 7 million online followers and over 300 million Youtube views, headlines concerts all over the world for their massive dedicated fanbase. Even with their continued success, SOJA always wants to remember their time together in that basement inspired by each others contributions and ideas.The feeling of true magic, collaboration and brotherhood that started it all is still evident today in their music and each night at their live concerts. For their latest studio album, Poetry In Motion (Oct 27 2017), it was essential for SOJA to consciously go back to the beginning and recapture that same sincere, collaborative magic sparked 20 years ago.For your whole life money is the thing youre scarce on, frontman Jacob Hemphill says. Then once you get busy enough time becomes the thing youre most scarce on. So spending time at home becomes your most valuable commodity and then the collaborative process starts taking place over the phone and email instead of in person. For Poetry In Motion we asked ourselves, What if we went back to the beginning and wrote, arranged, recorded and produced the entire thing together? All eight guys in one room to create something special. That was the approach to this record to make something we truly love and did all together.The band set up at Haunted Hollow Studios, Dave Matthews Bands studio, near Charlottesville, VA. The idea was to live and work together in one place, investing all their energy into the process. They spent three months in the studio over several sessions in late 2016 and early 2017, spending hours sitting on the back porch discussing music and life. Everyone showed up with new ideas, new instruments and new gear. The band enlisted Rob Evans, Ivan Guitierrez and Mariano Aponte to co- produce the songs, and there was an open-minded sentiment throughout. It was a learning and experimenting process, Jacobs notes. We got the exact thing we wanted from it.The albums 11 tracks embrace reggae completely, focusing on what the genre does best. They referred often to their 2009 album, Born In Babylon, to remind them of where they came from and how theyd like to go forward. Poetry In Motion is the beginning of a chapter, but its also a return to the past. Its a revitalization of what made SOJA so special to begin with. Its about eight guys in one room making reggae music that truly means something.Were going back to our roots and what we do best, Jacob says. Were remembering why we started this band and the magic of what weve built. We were lucky enough to create our own family and we picked every brother by hand. This album feels like weve had an amazing family reunion. Its a blueprint for our future.Poetry In Motion continues the bands belief that music should speak for people and uplift them. The album looks at the world today and asks why it feels like something is wrong when so much exists around us. "Fire In the Sky, propulsive and upbeat, takes the positive outlook on humanity while Life Support, a more introspective song, tackles the negative outlook. All the other tracks fall somewhere in the middle, as Jacob and the band grapple with the human condition, unafraid of big topics and essential life queries.The definition of the title is three-fold, Jacob says. Im poetry, the bands motion. The human race and the animals and plants that are spinning around on this Earth are beautiful its poetry flying through the universe in motion. And then, thirdly, we are this beautiful poetry but we keep moving away from it. Right now it feels like were moving in the wrong direction and its scary.The album poses questions but never takes on a definitive reply. SOJA isnt offering an answer. Instead, the answers are out there for each listener to find on their own. "Theres no periods on anything, Jacob notes. I give hints and glimpses, but my own opinions on the human condition change every year. Sometimes Im climbing, sometimes Im sliding. So maybe Im not the right guy to be answering questions. But I can ask all these questions that matter and help people. Im out there fishing for the next person.His ultimate goal with each song is simple. How do I make the human condition come into this song? he says. How do I relate to the biggest family of all time? Thats all Im ever really trying to do.SOJAs energetic, impassioned live performances have a similar effect. Averaging around 120 shows a year for the last decade, SOJA has toured with acts that include Dave Matthews Band, 311 and Incubus, and engaged a massive international fan base of die-hard followers at festivals that include Bonnaroo, Hangout Festival, Wakarusa, Cali Roots, Summerjam Germany, Woodstock Poland, Personal Festival Argentina, Ziget Festival Hungry and many more. Their live shows offer people a chance to look both inward and outward, and feel part of a global community, particularly since SOJA has headlined shows in over 30 countries. For SOJA, everything is about connection, whether it's with the world around them or within the band. Nothing worth doing in life can you do by yourself, Jacob notes. Were in this together.SOJA is:Jacob Hemphill Vocals / Guitar Bobby Lee BassRyan Berty DrumsPatrick OShea Keyboards Ken Brownell Percussion Hellman Escorcia Saxophone Rafael Rodriguez Trumpet Trevor Young Guitar / Vocals

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