Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a Grammy winning, internationally touring, purple velvet tuxedo wearing family funk phenemenon. Combining the positive, primal power of hip hop with the surreal storytelling of science fiction, 23 Skidoo has concocted a potent
potion that wows family crowds across the planet.

The ingredients of his magic spells include reverence for the boundless mindstates of young children, respect for the culture and DNA of hip hop, funk and soul music, and a deep belief in the power of the imagination to change the world in positive ways, both personal and universal.

If you can imagine a band with Jim Henson on guitar, Shel Silverstein on bass and PIXAR as the lead vocalist, you’ve pretty much got it. And if George Clinton and Q Tip stopped by the party, that might clarify things even more. Basically, if Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre had a baby, it would be the music of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Nuff said.

In 2007, Skidoo had already spent over a decade touring the nation with various live band/hip hop groups as a rapper and producer. He’d opened up for MOS DEF, RUN DMC, P-Funk All Stars and The Sun Ra Arkestra. And best of all, he’d helped bring a beautiful little baby girl into the world. By that time, she was 5 years old, and as smart as a smart car that runs on smart drinks. Taking a break from the road, Skidoo taught little Saki (aka MC Fireworks) how to rap, and together they made the world’s first album of family hip hop, literally from a family that makes hip hop. It caught on quick, and they soon had a #1 hit on SiriusXM’s family channel, which started planting seeds across the nation and beyond.

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo Wins the Grammy!

In the next decade, 23 Skidoo, MC Fireworks, and Bootysattva (aka Mom) rocked lots of shows with a bunch of awesome friends who sang, scratched records, danced, played instruments and did backflips. They played Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and the Smithsonian. They flew to Canada for the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and to India for the Buddy Daddy Family Festival. They got glowing reviews in TIME, USA Today, People, and a bunch of other magazines and stuff. They racked up a total of ten #1 hits on SiriusXM, and ended up on NPR’s “All Things Considered” twice. Their music videos are currently playing on NBC’s kids’ show “Sprout House”. And in 2014, they got nominated for a Grammy, and in 2017, they WON the Grammy for “Best Children’s Recording”!!! That was cool. Got to go onstage in a tophat and everything.

As well as releasing six full length albums, two books, one record, a line of hot sauce, and an E.P. that combines the entire Asheville Symphony with beats and rhymes, 23 Skidoo has written and produced the music for the US Library’s Summer Reading Program for six years running. He been its official New York State spokesman in 2010 and its official Reading Champion in 2017, because books are awesome. And he’s taught countless kids to write their own rhymes in workshops across the country.

In the decade of dancing down this crazy path, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has evolved a sound and style that never dumbs down the music or underestimates the audience. With funk and beats as real as bands that play at midnight, and with lyrics that aren’t afraid to employ a larger vocabulary that what is currently heard on mainstream radio for grown ups, Skidoo fashions a world intended for the whole family. The universal constants that we all deal with, such as love, struggle, dreams, fear and learning to become ourselves, are the soul of these musical adventures that bounce, fly and slide smoothly through landscapes of wild imagination.

Kara Grainger

Kara Grainger

“Talk about star power, a killer voice and guitar skills. She said to the band as much to the audience, “I think tonight, we’ll just play some blues.” Playing slide guitar, Grainger began with rootsy blues, her voice full-bodied with plenty of soul. There was clarity there too with that unmistakable bell tone mixed with grit. We were in for some serious musicianship with Kara Grainger. Her vocals packed a punch and she played monster guitar solos that had the crowd whooping andclapping. Nice to see a female musician kick some a** like that”. – Rock & Blues Muse

Kara’s latest release “Living With Your Ghost”, which was released through Station House Records reached no. 3 on the Billboard Blues album charts and no. 89 on the Americana chart. The album was recorded in Austin Texas and co produced by Anders Osborne

Her music career began in a small suburban town of Sydney Australia and since then has taken her on an incredible journey throughout the globe. Combining tasteful blues and slide guitar, soulful vocals and a heartfelt approach to songwriting, Kara’s truly unique sound will leave you uplifted, inspired and always wanting more.

At the age of 16 Kara joined with her brother Mitch Grainger to form the band “Papa Lips”. The band toured consistently throughout Australia and produced two studio albums that received national air play.

The band was heavily influenced by the sounds of Stax recording in Memphis, and by the Funky style of blues and soul that derived from New Orleans.

In 2008 Kara signed to Australian label “Craving Records” and was invited to the US by producer David Kalish where she recorded her debut solo album. The recording entitled “Grand and Green River” received critical acclaim and remained in the top 30 of the Americana Charts for 38 straight weeks.

Since then Kara has made three further albums whilst residing in the US. In 2011 “LA Blues” was recorded live at Studio City Sound. The cd paid tribute to some of Kara’s earliest blues inspirations and in 2013 kara recorded and released”Shiver and Sigh” through Los Angeles record label “Eclecto Groove.” The album was produced by grammy award winning producer David Z with some of LA’s finest musicians, including Mike Finnigan, Hutch Hutchinson, James Gadson and Kirk Fletcher among others.

One of Kara’s touring highlights was performing in North east India for the Himalayan Blues Foundation. Her performance at the “18 degrees cultural Festival” introduced the local community to roots and blues music for the very first time.

She has traveled to Indonesia several times to perform at the the Jakarta International Blues Festival, performing together with her US band and also as a special guest with “The Jakarta all Women Blues Review”.

In 2011 she toured Japan openning the show for “The Swampers and Donnie Fritts”, the infamous house Rhythm section for “Fame Recordings” in Muscle Shoals…She has taken her band to Switzerland where she performed at the “Sierre Blues Festival” as well as “Lucerne”. The band has also toured in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Spain..

In 2015 Kara performed at the “Beautiful swamp Festival” in Calais France and also to sell out crowds on her debut tour of the Uk. Another highlight was perfoming at “Ronnie Scotts”, Londons premier blues and jazz venue.

In the US Kara has performed at several Festivals such as ‘The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival’, ‘Blues from the Top’ in Colorado and “Austin City Limits”. She has also opened the show for many extraordinary acts such as Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy,Taj Mahal and Jonny Lang, to name a few.

Mikey Pauker

Mikey Pauker

Mikey Pauker is a folk/world artist from Berkeley, California. His new album, ASCENSION, is an invitation to listen to the call of our inner wilderness and to greet our darkness with understanding and an open heart. It was recorded in raw, live instrumental sessions — a departure from Mikey’s more electronic past recordings — under the guidance of Grammy-nominated producer Warren Huart (The Fray, Trevor Hall, Matisyahu). With songs like “Say Yes” and “I AM”, listeners are elevated with catchy melodic hooks and reggae/rock beats. Inspired by the recent California wildfires and hurricanes that have swept Texas and Florida this past season, “Believe” reminds us that these tragedies are opportunities to rebalance our relationship with our planet and the communities we surround ourselves with.

Growing up in Orange County, Mikey’s early experiences at underground shows exposed him to the intense, primal energy of live music, as well as the strong community bonds that form in an authentic and close-knit scene. Inspired by teachers who blend yoga and mystical practices he went to study in Jerusalem, soaking up the hidden teachings of his ancestral lineage. These spiritual dimensions guided his artistic development as he explored ecstatic music festivals and mystical religious traditions. His music implores us all to look within, sit with our darkness, and transform it into light. Mikey’s sound blends elements of folk, reggae, and hip-hop, incorporating English and Hebrew roots into his devotional songwriting. Mikey’s music draws from influences such as early Bob Marley, Van Morrison, and The Police, and listeners will immediately identify his style to the likes of Michael Franti, Trevor Hall and Nahko & Medicine For The People.

Mikey has shared the stage with Local Natives, Matisyahu, Trevor Hall, MOONZz, The Polish Ambassador, Ayla Nereo, Mike Love, MC Yogi, Kosha Dillz, Tubby Love, and many more artists. Notable performance highlights include SXSW, Lucidity, Beloved, Bhakti Fest, Mystic Rising, SoulPlay, and Chant 4 Change on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. TIME Magazine named Mikey as one of the 10 Stars of New Jewish Music. Mikey’s new album ASCENSION was released on January 26th, 2018, and will be supported by extensive touring.

Têtes de Chien

Têtes de Chien

Ten years ago, Justin Bonnet, Philippe Bellet, Henri Costa, Didier Verdeille and Grégory Veux, five french men coming from different regions of France and from the theatre field, the opera, the chanson française, pop and trad. music, met in Paris on a pharaonic circus show and decided to form an original a cappella band.
They would call themselves TETES DE CHIEN, “dog’s heads” (in reference to a kind insult that people from the countryside gave to Parisians) and thus decided to revile themselves, not waiting for others to do so ! To dig and find and recreate their hidden roots under the pavement.

Ten years later, after three albums and numerous stages, theatres, festivals and heritage places all around France, these parisian peasants keep on exploring and re-creating these immemorial oral tradition songs that form the heritage of the French World Music, at the origins of the well-known chanson française.
These popular songs, taught to French children at school, were in the past centuries sang in the countryside during the daily life : working in the fields, having the cows move forward, sewing, cooking, nursing the children too, expressing a sort of pagan faith or making fun of the religion sometimes, telling stories on men and women’s life, death, love…

“We try to get and share with the audience, the energy these songs convey, their humour, their tenderness, their drama and their stunning melodies and rhythmic force strike, beyond words”.



Considered by many as one of the best guitarists in Spain, EL TWANGUERO invites all kinds of audiences to see and hear him perform, including guitar fans, entertainment fans, and people of all ages who enjoy great music.
The “fire-breathing guitar hero” as he was dubbed by the U.S. press, launched his successful solo career after years of accompanying Latin music giants such as Bunbury, Calamaro, El Cigala, and others. He has achieved major accomplishments in the last couple years: memorable albums such as his latest, PACHUCO and ARGENTINE SONGBOOK (Warner Music), and has toured Spain, Mexico, America from South to North and other parts of the world. EL TWANGUERO has received excellent reviews and become an International Gibson and Bigsby artist.

TWANGUERO presents the PACHUCO show with his band: rhythm, percussion, seductive melodies as well as electrifying riffs and solos, AND the one and only touch of his golden Gibson, pioneer of ‘Latin-Twang”. He also has an important career as a guitar concertist.

Pachuco refers to a particular old school subculture of Latino Americans from the 1930’s – the 1950’s associated with zoot suits, and vibrant, flamboyant nightlife. Originating in Mexico, Pachuco eventually made its way to El Paso, Texas. Hence, El Paso became known to many as “El Chuco .” Pachuco was also an important part of the young Mexican-American culture in the 1950’s.



A powerfully progressive synthesis of electronic sound and Afro-Caribbean language, ÌFÉ is a bold new musical project from Puerto Rico based African American drummer/producer/singer Otura Mun. Mun, an Ifá priest or Babalawo in the Yoruba religion, has been a vanguard artist in the Puerto Rican music scene since his arrival there in the late 1990’s, producing critically acclaimed albums and songs for many of the islands most important musical voices.

ÌFÉ’s newest release, THE TEARER (Bembe) is a dark and twisting ode to sudden change, the night, the storm. Lead single from the group’s newest album, the song explores the energy of Oyá, the Yoruban goddess of storms and guardian of the cemetery gates. She brings the winds of change, reminding us that from chaos and destruction comes rebirth.

The album, titled “OOOO+OOOO” and pronounced “Oi Yekun MayYee” is a musical exploration of the second sign of the Ifá divination system, the female companion to “IIII+IIII,” ÌFÉ’s first album. This record and the first can be thought of as 2 opposing forces combining to create one body of work, each needing the other to express the larger narrative. With that relationship in mind, OOOO+OOOO is an ode to female energy, the night, our ancestors and the invisible world. A welcoming embrace of death as a crucial form of transformation. Here the music is more aggressive, more questioning, and with a more deeply rooted sense of ability, maturity. This is music for the night and all things that move in darkness and shadow.

Founder and Director: Otura Mun

Musicians: Beto Torrens, Enrique Serrano, Enrique Chavez, Yarimir Cabán

Dancer: Pia Love


“ÌFÉ fuses spiritual depth with dancehall influences… marrying the traditional with contemporary sounds to make something completely original.» «The music has a certain otherworldly quality that’ll resonate with even the most secular ear.” – NOISEY

“The Tearer (Bembe)” is far from folkloric. The steady but ever-varying beat mixes percussion, piano, synthesizer and quick hisses of white noise behind rapping, singing and, about halfway through, an Auto-Tuned woman’s voice leading a traditional-sounding call-and-response. (…) But what makes the track compelling is the beat” – The Playlist / Jon Pareles, The New York Times

“ÌFÉ’s Oya tribute is afro-house as truth-telling…. Musical marriages of old souls and new technology rarely get this deep or this earthy.” – AFROPUNK



HAWAII’S FLAMENCO UKULELE VIRTUOSO – Songwriter and virtuoso, Taimane, is best known for her fierce and inventive style of playing the ukulele. She is a born entertainer and self-taught musician who learned and still plays by ear. Her attraction to the four-string island staple began at age 3, and by age 10, she regularly performed in public, busking in Waikiki every Friday night with her father holding down security duties and Waikiki Beach Boys (adults whose home & workplace was the beach) serving as her band. By age 13, Taimane landed a position in Don Ho’s show literally playing in the spotlight every week until Ho’s passing. Fast forward to today, and you have an artist who tours the world and has carved out a unique niche in music – merging a wide-array of genres, from Bach to rock, flamenco infernos to tribal hymns, summoning a seemingly limitless palette of emotions via an instrument previously viewed as a restricted device.

“Taimane rocks the stage with a sensual vibrancy and a white hot talent that captivates and
beguiles!” – Pierce Brosnan (aka 007)

“Every so often we discover an artist as he or she is about to emerge into a much bigger arena. These experiences have included Chris Botti, Trombone Shorty, Kamasi Washington and Lake Street Dive. Now, we have a new discovery – Taimane. She’s destined for a big, bright future, and I encourage you to catch her show as soon as you can.” – Bruce Labadie, Artistic and Festival Director of San Jose Jazz
“Absolutely fantastic show!” – Jerry VanLeeuwen, Executive Director, California Center for the Arts Escondido
“It was an incredible performance!” – Todd Stein, President & CEO, Mid-America Arts Alliance
“What an amazing artist!” – Kristine Bretall, Director of Performing Arts, Sun Valley Center

Radio Free Honduras

Radio Free Honduras

Charlie Baran has lived a life of music. Before moving the the United States he was a founding member of the legendary Honduran musical group Banda Blanca, who’s song “Sopa de Caracol” became the #1 Billboard Top Latin Songs hit in 1992. Now a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school by day, Charlie has kept his musical flame glowing largely through acoustic solo performances around Chicago for the past ten years.

Charlie Baran is a true virtuoso. No one sees him perform without recognizing the presence of a true master – an heir to a rich tradition of Honduran music, as well as a guitar slinging showman and a gifted songwriter whose skill transcends all genres. But throughout most of his career he has existed in the shadows – until the formation of Radio Free Honduras.

Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran and bringing this tremendous talent into the spotlight where it belongs. Founded by Dan Abu-Absi, longtime guitarist for JT and the Clouds and Birds of Chicago, Radio Free Honduras plays mostly Baran originals, but their live shows often feature a wide variety of reimagined cover songs. This band provides Charlie with the wide musical pallet his talent (and songs) deserve. Abu-Absi has gathered a large, revolving collective of some of Chicago’s most talented musicians; lively percussion, eclectic instrumentation, and rich harmonies all provide the backdrop, allowing Charlie to do what he does best – stunning guitar work, tapping into what seems a limitless supply of energy and enthusiasm for music.

Charlie Baran has lived a long and storied musical life – but very few are familiar with his side of the story. Radio Free Honduras has made it their mission to change that.

The Turbans

The Turbans

International legends The Turbans bind together musics from ‘manywhere’ with their interstellar live show which ignites the crowd. Sonically huge and visually arresting, they are a powerhouse of talent, bringing their vibrant and unique sound to audiences who can do nothing more than smile, dance and shout for joy.

Growing from the intertwining paths of many talented musicians travelling the world, this extraordinary project has grown in a few years from very humble beginnings, into a progressive name on the London music scene. It’s members have gathered from countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Greece and England to perform in concerts and festivals around the UK, North America, Middle-East, Hong Kong, India and Europe.

Their aim is to bring music to the people, young and old alike, mixing vibrant spontaneity and authenticity with multi-genre instrumental and vocal excellence.​

We’ve created The Turbans, now all you have to do is dance.

Lila Downs

Lila Downs

At first glance, it would be easy to misunderstand the exquisite new album by Mexican- American songstress Lila Downs as a collection of traditional boleros. True, Salón Lágrimas y Deseo includes lush readings of such transcendental Mexican classics as Agustín Lara’s “Piensa En Mí” and José Alfredo Jiménez’ “Un Mundo Raro.”

But in typical Lila Downs fashion, the album covers a wide array of musical textures and genres. Going beyond the mournful bolero aesthetic, it is also seeped in political activism and rage at the current state of the world.

“My decision to sing the lyrics of these specific songs – some of which happen to be boleros – is a metaphor for both the love and the lack of love that I see in my homeland, but also in the neighboring country of the North, the United States,” says Lila from her home in Oaxaca, where she has been living with her family for the past two years. “These are strong feelings; they fill me with anger, and are not meant to be taken lightly in the context of boleros as sad romantic songs.”

Inspired by the recent political changes in the U.S. as well as the endemic corruption that continues to plague her beloved Mexico, Lila decided to pour these feelings of revulsion into a new album that – as is often the case in her work – combines her own compositions with evergreen standards from the Latin songbook. The album received the 2017 Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Album.

Musically, Salón Lágrimas y Deseo demonstrates that Lila is one of the most eclectic artists working in the vast field of World music. The songs range from raucous banda sinaloense (“Tus Pencas”) and bouncy cumbia beats (the infectious opening track “Urge”) to the haunting, jazz- inflected mystery of “Seguiré Mi Viaje” and the majestic orchestral vibe of “Un Mundo Raro.” There are also touches of traditional danzón, earthy Cuban son, even rock.

Vocally, Lila sounds as regal and defiant as ever, combining the staggering power of her instrument with interludes of spoken word, as in “Envidia,” a smoldering duet with veteran Argentine rock star Andrés Calamaro.

“People think that ‘Envidia’ is about Donald Trump, but in reality it’s more about a social reality that is taking hold all over the world,” she explains. “The song talks about the pride of being Latino, the uncomfortable envy that other, more powerful people feel for us. In the end, these feelings benefit us, I think, because they force those people to make an effort and get to know us better.”

Co-written with husband and longtime musical partner Paul Cohen, “Peligrosa” is the record’s lead single. Recently spotlighted by NPR, the song is a simmering anthem of female empowerment.

“I ended up making an album that is very much feminine in spirit,” she explains. “I’ve grown up in a field dominated by males, many of whom are difficult to deal with. As a result, I learned to become strong and stubborn. I fought those men, but I also learned from the vast knowledge that they have. This album mirrors my point of view; my existence, the specific way in which I ended up experiencing life.”

The ongoing struggle to establish and assert her unique identity has been present in Lila’s life since the very beginning. Born in 1968 to a talented Mixtec singer and a British-American professor from Minnesota, she was able to move freely between both countries and cultures, exploring her passion for music at an early age. Her independently released debut Ofrenda

came out in 1994, followed by a string of increasingly ambitious albums. Favoring a stunning wardrobe based on the textiles of Mexico’s indigenous cultures, Lila quickly became a fixture on the international touring circuit. Performing in festivals around the world brought her in touch with like-minded musicians from disparate genres, leading to collaborations with such stars as Caetano Veloso, Mercedes Sosa and Enrique Bunbury.

Salón Lágrimas y Deseo continues with this cosmovision, embracing music as a sophisticated global stew. In addition to Andrés Calamaro, Lila’s guests on this outing include Spanish flamenco singer Diego El Cigala, Mexican indie rocker Carla Morrison, Chilean chanteuse Mon Laferte and Oaxacan group Banda Tierra Mojada.

“The collaborations happened in a very emotional way,” she says. “Destiny played its part, because these artists are very hard to find. They come from different worlds; it is of the essence to step on common musical ground. Diego El Cigala was like a hurricane in the recording studio. Mon Laferte’s label told me that she too busy, but then she called and decided to work with me anyway. The guys from Banda Tierra Mojada are like my brothers. They’re short, dark- skinned and a bit plump – just like myself, because we all eat too many tlayudas,” she laughs, referencing the quintessential Oaxacan delicacy.

You would think that Lila’s tremendous success – both on the critical and commercial front – has transported her to a place of comfort and privilege. But the singer, who will soon start a tour to promote the new album, remains as vigilant and humble as ever.

“I am barefoot as I speak with you,” she concludes in her richly flavored Spanish. “My feet are touching the ground at this moment. I feel very fortunate about my life, but there’s a side of me that still aches with pain and melancholy, the search for truth and the horrible lies that we experience in both our countries. I am still angry. I still have many things to say.”


“The Mexican American singer has a stunning voice, a confident multicultural vision grounded in her Mixtec Indian roots,” Los Angeles Times

“Ms. Downs has multiple voices, from an airborne near-falsetto down to a forthright alto and a sultry, emotive contralto,” New York Times

“At the center is Downs’s singular voice — cantina-classical — a three-octave instrument that delights in sustaining notes longer than an Olympic swimmer can hold her breath”, Washington Post

“Fluency in Spanish isn’t necessary to understand Lila Downs’ shape-shifting voice; it transcends language, carrying pure emotion. Downs moves from operatic stylings to rap and everything in between, with both artistic exploration and pop sensibility”, The Associated Press

“She’s David Bowie as the Thin White Duke. Beyoncé as Sasha Fierce… Downs channels Lola Beltrán, Mercedes Sosa, Chavela Vargas, and other musical greats in performances that conjure their voices and spirits, but with a sweeping vocal range… she is also a human-rights activist who has long sung of cultural and political issues”, SF Weekly

“Taken as a whole, Downs’ work is a true original”,


• 1994 Ofrenda
• 1996 Azuláo: En Vivo con Lila Downs
• 1999 La Sandunga (Narada / EMI)
• 2000 Árbol de la Vida {Yutu tata} (Narada / EMI)
• 2004 Una Sangre {Latin Grammy} (Narada / EMI)
• 2006 La Cantina (Narada / EMI)
• 2008 Shake Away {Grammy Nomination} (Narada / EMI)
• 2009 The Very Best of Lila Downs {El Alma de Lila Downs} (Capitol EMI)
• 2010 Lila Downs y La Misteriosa en París – Live á FIP (Cloud People Music / Radio France)
• 2011 Pecados y Milagros {Grammy & Latin Grammy} (Sony Music)
• 2012 Pecados y Milagros – Special Edition CD+DVD (Sony Music Entertainment Mexico)
• 2014 Raíz – Collaboration with Niña Pastori & Soledad {Sony Music Latin Grammy}
• 2015 Balas y Chocolate {Latin Grammy} (Sony Music)
• 2017 Salón Lágrimas y Deseo (Sony Music)