Global percussion and local music

Grant Union High School Drumline goes to South Africa; Hobo Johnson headlines Concerts in the Park

Grant Union High School Drumline will perform in Cape Town and Johannesburg next month.

Grant Union High School Drumline will perform in Cape Town and Johannesburg next month.

Photo courtesy of James Van Buren

In Sacramento music news this week: A world-class high school drumline gigs in South Africa, and a free downtown summer concert series returns with a lineup of neighborhood and national all-stars.

First, the Grant Union High School Drumline, which had a message for Oprah Winfrey two years ago: Help us to get to South Africa. A YouTube pitch outlined an impressive resume for the 10-year-old extracurricular program: The drumline had performed for President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sheila E., Jimmy Kimmel and Yolanda Adams, and performed in France and Japan. And they’re on Spotify. The ask: Invite the drumline to play for Winfrey’s Leadership Academy For Girls in the Gauteng Province.

Oprah never called back. But recently, the mayors of Cape Town and Johannesburg invited the group to perform next month. Program director James Van Buren said the group raised nearly $100,000 to get the students there. Eleven out of 25 members will perform on April 16, 19 and 20, bringing their signature cross of acoustic drumming and hip-hop.

The experience will be invaluable to the kids, Van Buren said.

“I want students to work hard and shoot for the stars,” he said.

Back home, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership on March 27 announced the 2019 Concerts in the Park lineup, and it’s a buffet. At the top of the marquee are Souls of Mischief, an Oakland hip-hop group featuring members of Hieroglyphics. There’s electro-pop artist SHAED, the post-hardcore troupe Emarosa and rock ’n’ rollers Vista Kicks. And there’s Hobo Johnson & The LoveMakers, who are playing their first hometown gig since touring internationally after their song “Peach Scone” went viral.

Don’t sleep on the rest of the lineup, which includes the R&B/soul sounds of The Philharmonik, genre-bending rock from Island of Black and White, electropop from So Much Light and so much more.

The free Friday night concert series kicks off at Cesar Chavez Plaza on May 3. The series broke attendance records last year, when 9,000-plus people gathered the night post-punk rockers Franz Ferdinand performed last May.

Here’s the full lineup:

Sacramento rock band Island of Black and White plays Concerts in the Park June 21.

Photo by Maria Ratinova

May 3: Joy & Madness, Simple Creation, Heather Evans, DJ Eddie Z

May 10: Souls of Mischief, The Philharmonik, Basi Vibe, Soosh*e!

May 17: DREAMERS, Madi Sipes & The Painted Blue, Mastoids, DJ Eve

May 24: Emarosa, Wolf & Bear, A Foreign Affair, Dwellings, Emo Night Tour

May 31: Lyrics Born, Cities You Wish You Were From, Analog Us, John Hamilton

June 7: Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers, Amber DeLaRosa, Flight Mongoose, Evan Inc.

June 14: The Cripple Creek Bank, Ashley Barron, Amador Sons, Zack Lee, DJ Zephyr

June 21: Smith & Thell, Island of Black & White, Occupy The Trees, DJ Lady Kate

June 28: So Much Light, me&you, Animals In The Attic, Freature, DJ Epik

July 12: Arden Park Roots, Harris Rudman, Weirdoze, Robbie (HOF)

July 19: SHAED, Centersight, NYTVZN, FVME

July 26: Vista Kicks, ONOFF, For the Kids, A Summer Alive, DJ Nocturnal