Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bamdu Station Performs in D. C. This Weekend

By Richard Harrington - Washington Post Staff Writer

The second of three free Weekend's Weekends summer concerts hosted by The Post and the Weekend section, featuring a variety of music from top local talent in our community, is Friday. Tonight's reggae bill features Bambu Station, Proverbs and S.T.O.R.M. Reggae Band. The concerts are at Carter Barron Amphitheatre in cooperation with the National Park Service/Rock Creek Park. Bambu Station dates back a decade, when vocalist Jalani Horton of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands moved to Washington, but the band didn't jell until a few years later with the arrival of drummer Andy Llanos and guitarist Tuff Lion, both from St. Croix. According to Horton: "We came for different reasons -- some of us went to college, others to trade school. We were not a band when we left home, but once we got here and settled, we got together as a band."

Last year, the band traveled to Israel for the New World Passover Festival in Dimona, put on by the African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem, a small religious group whose members believe they are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. (The band will be going back next year for the group's 40th anniversary of settling in Israel.) "It's not that someone sent for us," Horton explains. "There was an opportunity for us to appear at the festival, and we paid our way to go. And from that one festival, three other shows in Israel materialized. "We push to create opportunities for ourselves," Horton says, adding: "We would rather play across the world for the same money that we play a small club in Adams Morgan for. In that way, we get a chance to enrich our experiences, our lives and be exposed to the world, let the world hear what we're doing instead of just waiting for a big label to find us. We're not trying to be found. We are trying to let people know that we exist so we can start that communication with the ones we feel would appreciate what we're doing."

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