Digable Planets Reachin’ 30th Anniversary Tour
Doors: 7:00PM | Show: 8:00PM
The iconic Kalamazoo State Theatre is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated Digable Planets Reachin’ 30th Anniversary Tour, coming to our historic venue on Thursday, January 25, 2024 with special guest Kassa Overall. This extraordinary event promises an unforgettable night of jazz-informed Hip Hop, celebrating three decades of Digable Planets’ groundbreaking music.
About Digable Planets:
In 1993, Digable Planets burst onto the music scene with their Grammy-winning single, “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat).” Comprised of Ishmael Butler (“Butterfly”), Craig Irving (“Doodlebug”), and Mary Ann Vieira (“Ladybug Mecca”), this trailblazing trio carved out a unique style that melded jazz samples and complex rhymes. Shortly after their breakthrough, they released their debut album, “Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time And Space),” a work praised by Pitchfork as “a world within a world, complete with its own language and monuments.”
Reachin’ was more than just a commercial success, achieving RIAA gold certification; it was a rich and vibrant artistic statement. The album’s themes ranged from city life nuances to important social issues, such as abortion rights, making it a pivotal moment in the history of Hip Hop.
Following Reachin’, Digable Planets released “Blowout Comb,” a bold and colorful meditation on Black liberation. While it didn’t initially match the commercial success of their debut, the album has aged beautifully, influencing future generations of Hip Hop enthusiasts, young Jazz musicians, and Afrofuturists.
Throughout the 2000s, the members of Digable Planets pursued their individual creative paths, with Ishmael Butler working on Cherrywine and Shabazz Palaces projects, Mary Ann Vieira contributing to BROOKZILL!, and Craig Irving leading “Cee Knowledge & The Cosmic Funk Orchestra.”
In 2015, the group re-emerged with a series of wildly successful live shows and has been an active touring unit ever since. In 2017, they released “Digable Planets Live,” a live album showcasing the trio’s skill at captivating audiences with a live band. With a genre-bending influence that spans over three decades, Digable Planets continues to leave an indelible mark on music. Their music continues to shine, and they bring their celebrated stage show to excited crowds around the world.
About Kassa Overall:
Kassa Overall is a Grammy-nominated musician, emcee, singer, producer and drummer who melds avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques to tilt the nexus of jazz and rap in unmapped directions. He previously released four critically acclaimed projects: I THINK I’M GOOD, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz, Shades of Flu and Shades of Flu 2.
On ANIMALS, his Warp Records debut, Kassa pushes his kaleidoscopic, subversive vision further. He layers Roland 808s against avant-garde drumming in the vein of his mentors Elvin Jones and Billy Hart, the latter of whom he studied with at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Virtuoso musos appear alongside rap poets, including Danny Brown, Wiki, Lil B, and Shabazz Palaces. Top-flight jazz improvisation weaves in and out of orchestral string arrangements by Jherek Bischoff. The album’s diverse, all-star roster of collaborators includes several of his close friends, like vocalists Nick Hakim, Laura Mvula, Francis and the Lights, and jazz stars like Theo Croker and Vijay Iyer.
ANIMALS pushes Kassa’s message further too, the title a loaded metaphor for the paradoxes of his life as an entertainer and as a black man in America. ANIMALS is the sound of an artist aware of the cost of embodying one’s natural self in the public eye, a deep reckoning with the two-sided truth that to perform one’s freedom for an audience can mean succumbing to life inside a cage.