Outspoken Anti- recording artist and award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Franti will perform an extremely rare San Quentin Prison concert on Saturday, May 19th at 11 a.m. With a theme of tolerance and co-existence, the first gig inside the prison in five years – since Metallica’s 2002 appearance – will be held before roughly 2,000 inmates.
And Franti doesn’t just want to just deliver his message of “Power to The Peaceful on the Inside” to concert attendees in the yard. He is currently in talks to allow the event – organized by Guerrilla Management and the non-profit organization Bread & Roses – to be broadcast to San Quentin’s death row inmates via closed circuit television.
Preceding the performance, Franti will be interviewed live on Al Jazeera TV’s “Riz Khan” show next Thursday, May 10th, at 12 Noon PST. Al Jazeera English is the world’s first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East. It has more than 86 million global viewers and can be viewed for free via www.relavista.tv.
Franti – who won the Best International Documentary Award in the prestigious Harlem International Film Festival for his heralded 2005 film about the Iraq war, I Know I’m Not Alone – took time out from his busy touring schedule with Spearhead to visit with and perform for injured soldiers at Washington’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center this past March. Earlier that month, the performer’s efforts for peace earned him the honor of “Michael Franti Day” from Austin, Texas’ Mayor Will Wynn.
I Know I’m Not Alone – shot during his travels to the war zones of Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2005 – has been called “an antidote to despair” by anti-war activist Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange.
Inspiring last year’s acclaimed Anti- disc Yell Fire!, which The San Francisco Examiner dubbed it “a call for hope,” Michael Franti and Spearhead fuse hip-hop, rock ’n’ roll, reggae and folk sounds with a distinctly candid political voice. Heralded as “the most important artist recording and touring today who has yet to reach the masses,” by Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell, Franti has also been confirmed to appear at the 2007 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee the weekend of June 14th – 17th.