Archive for May 2008

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May 29, 2008

AFRICAN AUTHOR UWEM AKPAN INSPIRES NEW SONG FROM WORLD MUSIC SUPERSTAR ANGELIQUE KIDJO

LITTLE, BROWN AND COMPANY AND RAZOR & TIE
ENTERTAINMENT PARTNER FOR UNIQUE PROMOTION

May 29, 2008

(New York, NY)-Little, Brown and Company and Razor & Tie Entertainment announced today a unique partnership linking the highly anticipated literary debut of African writer Uwem Akpan with a new song by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Angelique Kidjo.

Akpan's debut collection, SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM, consists of five stories, each written from the point of view of a child in Africa. The collection has already received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, with Publishers Weekly saying, "Akpan's prose is beautiful, and his stories are insightful and revealing." Akpan's words inspired the Benin-born Kidjo to record "Agbalagba," a song written with her longtime collaborator Jean Hebrail in the Yoruba language. "Agbalagba" roughly translates to "the ancestors," as the song pertains to young peoples' responsibility to those that came before them. Please see below for an English translation of the lyrics.

Angelique Kidjo commented, "I immediately felt a bond with Uwem. . . . The second we met, it was as if we had always known each other. I'm proud to contribute a song to his beautiful collection of stories."

"I am very excited that my stories have inspired such a powerful song, and I hope that both the song and the book will bring readers and listeners a greater understanding of the problems of people in Africa," Uwem Akpan said.

Razor & Tie Senior Vice President of Marketing Michael Krumper commented, "This is a particularly exciting partnership for all involved, bringing together the literary and music worlds into a very natural marriage. Angelique Kidjo has devoted so much of her life to improving conditions in her home continent of Africa, with an added focus on children. The readers of Uwem Akpan's beautiful debut collection will no doubt enjoy Kidjo's haunting new song inspired by SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM."

Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, added, "As publishers, we are constantly looking for innovative ways to help new voices be heard in a crowded marketplace. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce Kidjo's fans to a writer we feel will be an important force in literature for years to come."

SAY YOU'RE ONE OF THEM will be available wherever books are sold on June 9, 2008. The book jacket will point readers to www.sayyoureoneofthem.com, where "Agbalagba" will be available as a free download. The song will also be available on eMusic, where it can be purchased as part of a package with three of Akpan's stories read by actors Robin Miles and Dion Graham.

Angelique Kidjo's latest album from Razor & Tie Entertainment/Starbucks Entertainment is DJIN DJIN, which was awarded the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album earlier this year and includes collaborations with luminaries such as Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Josh Groban, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, and Branford Marsalis. In her Grammy acceptance speech, Kidjo dedicated her award to the "women of Darfur, the women who are fighting every day to give their kids an education." Kidjo has devoted much of her adult life to global charity work; she is a spokesperson for both Oxfam and UNICEF and recently created her own charity, Batonga. Batonga's main goal is to create a culture that values and supports the secondary education of girls in Africa. Kidjo has long believed that education is the key to precipitating change in her home continent.

Akpan was born in a small village in Nigeria and is now a Jesuit priest. After studying philosophy at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology at the Catholic University of East Africa. He received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. Two of Akpan's stories, his first published in the United States, appeared in The New Yorker to great acclaim. A heated auction for rights to his first collection ensued. "My Parents' Bedroom" was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for the 2007 Caine Prize for African Writing, known as the African Booker. Author Chris Abani, whose books include GraceLand and The Virgin of Flames said, "Uwem Akpan writes with a political fierceness and a humanity so full of compassion, it might just change the world. His is a burning talent."

Agbalagba

Children are the guardians of the future
I beg them not to forget their roots
Whatever wealth and riches you will earn
Please celebrate the memory of your ancestors

Every morning is a new day
So many challenges that you will face
Wherever you will live, even far from you home
Never forget the land of your ancestors

May 23, 2008

ALL THAT REMAINS' NEW ALBUM "OVERCOME" DUE

WARPED TOUR NORTH AMERICAN DATES BEGIN IN LATE JULY

(New York, NY) - Road warriors All That Remains have been holed up in a studio for the past month recording their fourth release. The new album, entitled OVERCOME, is set for a late summer release and is being produced by Jason Suecof (Trivium, Chimaira, Black Dahlia Murder). ATR frontman Phil Labonte commented, "I'm really excited about this disc. It's a pretty different sound than our last one. It's shaping up to have a more biting tone. It's got tons of double bass, like twenty guitar solos and more hooks. It's a much darker record than THE FALL OF IDEALS and it's gonna reshape what people think when they think of All That Remains." Immediately following the completion of the album, All That Remains will join the Warped tour in progress for a three-week North American run. This will be the band's first Warped tour. (Please see below for dates.)

Released in July, 2006, All That Remains' last studio release, THE FALL OF IDEALS, has sold over 175,000 units to date. Metal bible Kerrang said the album, "bears all the hallmarks of a classi...the musicianship is stunning... ruthlessly precise and powerful", while Metal Hammer stated, "Track after track, the band leave you breathless"

Since All That Remains' first album was released in 2002, the band has grown in leaps and bounds in every arena. They've gone from playing opening slots to headlining and selling out their own tours and playing major rock festivals domestically and abroad - Ozzfest, Sounds of the Underground, Wacken: Open Air. The first single from THE FALL OF IDEALS, "This Calling" could be heard all over the country on hard rock stations and the corresponding video could be seen on MTV and Fuse. The song also appeared in the major motion picture, "Saw 3." "Six," another track from the album is featured in the hit video game, "Guitar Hero 2."


ALL THAT REMAINS on Warped tour:

JULY
23 Mansfield, MA Tweeter Center
24 Darien Center, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
25 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
26 Uniondale, NY Nassau Coliseum
27 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion
28 Englishtown, NJ Raceway Park
29 Pittsburgh, PA Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake
30 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
31 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center

AUGUST
1 Milwaukee, MI Marcus Ampitheatre
2 Tinley Park, IL First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
3 Shakopee, MN Canterbury Park
5 Saskatoon, SK Credit Union Center
6 Calgary, AB Race City Speedway
8 Napa, ID Idaho Center Ampitheater
9 George, WA Gorge Ampitheater
10 St. Helens, OR Columbia Meadows
13 Fresno, CA Save Mart Center
14 Chula Vista Coors Ampitheater
15 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Ampitheatre
16 Marysville, CA Sleep Train Ampitheatre
17 Carson, CA The Home Depot Center


May 14, 2008

KIDZ BOP LIVE SUMMER TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED!

THE CONCERT BY KIDS FOR KIDS
BEGINS NATIONWIDE TOUR DATES IN JUNE

(New York, NY) - KIDZ BOP LIVE returns this summer for another round of rockin' family concerts around the nation (please see below for tour dates). KIDZ BOP launched its first tour last fall with 40 tour dates, creating an exciting concert experience for kids. The Intelligencer in suburban Philadelph'a, PA best sums the show up as "a gigantic kids party", while St. Paul's Pioneer Press called the show, "a monster hit."

The KIDZ BOP LIVE show features today's most popular songs, sung by kids for kids live on stage. The show includes songs from the best-selling KIDZ BOP CDs, the #1 children's audio series in the country. KIDZ BOP LIVE, a rock concert for kids and parents alike, features six kids who sing and dance and a live band. The entire family will be playing air guitar and enjoying themselves. KIDZ BOP LIVE is a memorable concert experience for all.

Produced by Kidz Bop LLC in association with Rogar Studios Live Entertainment, KIDZ BOP LIVE is choreographed by Kishaya who has choreographed videos for Ashanti, P. Diddy and Destiny's Child and is the winner of an MTV Video Music Award for Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl". The musical director of the show is John Clancy, who is currently co-orchestrating the Broadway production of SHREK whilst at the same time, working as the full-time drummer in the Broadway smash hit GREASE.

Since the brand's creation 7 years ago, KIDZ BOP has been the most popular, most recognized and most parent-friendly music product in the U.S. for kids aged 4-11, selling over 10.5 million CDs. KIDZ BOP CD titles have earned nine Gold-certified albums to date. The brand's website, KIDZBOP.COM, has become a fast-growing online destination, where kids can create, share and watch a variety of content, including games and activities based on music and creativity.

KIDZ BOP LIVE tour dates:

JUNE
18 Englewood, NJ Bergen PAC
19 Providence, RI Lupo's at the Strand
21 Langhorne, PA Sesame Place Theme Park
22 Langhorne, PA Sesame Place Theme Park

JUNE
24 Torrington, CT Warner Theatre
27 Albany, NY Sawyer Theatre at The Egg
28 Cohasset, MA South Shore Music Circus
29 Hyannis, MA Cape Cod Melody Tent

JULY
2 Beverly, MA North Shore Music Theatre
3 Gifford, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Celllular Pavillion
5 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
12 Dallas, TX Meyerson Symphony Center
13 Austin, TX Long Center for Performing Artts
15 Rochester Hills, MI Meadowbrook Music Festival
17 Chicago, IL House of Blues
19 Lakewood, OH Lakewood Civic Auditorium
20 Dayton, OH Fraze Pavilion
22 Dubuque, IA Dubuque County Fair
24 Edmonton, Alberta CAN Capital Ex Fair
25 Edmonton, Alberta CAN Capital Ex Fair
26 Edmonton, Alberta CAN Capital Ex Fair
29 Boulder, CO Boulder Theatre

AUGUST
2 Seattle, WA Moore Theatre
6 San Francisco, CA Regency Center@ The Grand
8 Westwood, CA Royce Halll - UCLA
10 San Diego, CA Spreckels Theatre