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Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

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Born out of both the pressure of political oppression and the need for artistic expression, the members of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars met in a refugee camp in Guinea, after having fled the attacks of rebel forces in their native Sierra Leone. The group, led by Reuben Koroma, moved to a camp in the Guinean countryside where, with the help of a grant from an aid organization, they were able to procure proper instruments and amplifiers. During this time, two American documentary filmmakers began to travel with the group, capturing their performances as they visited and played at various camps. The resulting documentary, released in 2002, captures the band’s story, including their safe return to the capital of Sierra Leone. There Koroma invited members of his old band, the Emperors, to join the Refugees line-up, and the group commenced a world tour. In 2006 the band’s studio debut, LIVING LIKE A REFUGEE, appeared, delivering an irresistible blend of traditional West African music, reggae, and various worldbeat influences.

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