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Meta and the Cornerstones
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 11/07/2014 at Symphony Space.

Rum & Reggae

Meta and the Cornerstones infuse their feel-good reggae sound with soul, Afropop, and hip-hop, and sing in a mixture of French, English, Wolof, and Fulani. Led by the indomitable Meta Dia and with members hailing from the west coast of Africa, North America, Asia and the Middle East, the band creates a unifying and uplifting experience for the audience.

Enjoy a complimentary rum cocktail before the show, and rum specials during and after the performance. Spirits by Nick Bennett, Bar Captain at Booker and Dax at Momofuku Ssäm.

Meta Dia, vocals 

Shahar Mintz, lead guitar 

Chauncey Yearwood, drums 

Aya Kato, keyboard 

Rupert McKenzie, bass

Special guest appearances by Gala & Mitchell Brunings!

PROGRAM

Introduction

Hirra

Price of Everything/Tijahni

Silence of the Moon

Who the Cap Fit (Bob Marley Cover)

Bound to Glory

Zion Stereo

Cornerstone

Without Heart

Mitchell Burnings

Concrete Jungle (Bob Marley Cover)

Beloved Africa Introduction

Beloved Africa

Struggle & Strife

Somewhere in Africa/ Peace, Love & Harmony

Anywhere for Love

+ About the Artists

Born in Senegal, West Africa, lead singer of Meta and The Cornerstones, Meta Dia, discovered his love for music and desire to be a musician at a very young age. Listening to Reggae greats Bob Marley and Gregory Isaacs helped nurture his admiration and true appreciation for all types of music. As a self-taught musician, by age 14 he was performing on the street and stages of his hometown Dakar, Senegal. In 2000, Meta formed his first band YALLA SUUREN (God Bless), which was nominated for Best Hip-Hop/Reggae Group by the French Cultural Center the same year. Within two years,

Meta had become one of the premier pioneering voices of the Hip- Hop culture in West Africa. After relocating to the United States, Meta immediately began collaborating with artists such as Sean Blackman, and Hip-Hop Ambassador Toni Blackman. Shortly after settling in New York City, he formed his visionary band, Meta and The Cornerstones.

With varying ethnicity, religion, and musical influences, Meta & The Cornerstones’ sound is a melting pot rooted in diversity, strength, and unity. Lead singer Meta Dia hails from Senegal; Israeli lead guitarist Shahar Mintz combines solid rock sounds and reggae with Algerian born Hocine Benameur on riddim guitar; classical schooled keyboard player Aya Kato has her roots in Japan; drummer Biguy grew up in Ivory Coast and bass player Rupert McKenzie represents Jamaica as they combine their creative differences from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean bringing togetherness, peace and understanding.

Meta & The Cornerstones channel Roots Reggae while simultaneously breathing new life into the genre, thus creating what critics have called a “soul-pounding spiritual experience” during their live performances. Inspired by Alpha Blondy and Lucky Dubee, they have shared the stage with Reggae stars Luciano, Steel Pulse, Clinton Fearon, Israel Vibration, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Gentleman and Tanya Stephens amongst others. In 2007, the band was personally invited by Senegalese-born international superstar Youssou N’Dour to perform at his annual African Ball concert at the Nokia Theater in New York. The following year Meta and The Cornerstones proudly released its first album entitled Forward Music. Of this work Clive Chin; Jamaican producer for The Wailers, Dennis Brown, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, notes, “Meta and The Cornerstones have taken us back to the foundation of reggae music.”

As he continues to establish new grounds, Meta is now the first African artist to be signed to the iconic record label VP Records, the #1 source for Reggae Music. Through VP, Meta and The Cornerstones released their second album Ancient Power in April 2013. Recorded at the infamous Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, Ancient Power links Africa to Jamaica by paying tribute to the ageless sounds of reggae preserved by the history of its legends. The 15-track work features Reggae legend U-Roy, as well as today’s leading artists Capleton and Damian Marley. The album was given many top 10 ratings by worldwide reggae websites like Reggaeville (#4 best reggae album 2013), United Reggae, World A Reggae, Last FM, and radio stations like Rhythm Vault International in California and RFI in France. After the release of Ancient Power, Meta and The Cornerstones have been touring to promote the album in Europe, Africa and the USA playing on legendary reggae and world music festivals such as Reggae on The River in California, Summerjam in Germany, Mundial in The Netherlands, Gnaoua in Morocco, Musa in Portugal, and Afro Pfingsten in Switzerland.

+ About the Music

With varying ethnicity, religion, and musical influences, Meta & The Cornerstones’ sound is a melting pot rooted in diversity, strength, and unity. Lead singer Meta Dia hails from Senegal; Israeli lead guitarist Shahar Mintz combines solid rock sounds and reggae with Algerian born Hocine Benameur on riddim guitar; classical schooled keyboard player Aya Kato has her roots in Japan; drummer Biguy grew up in Ivory Coast and bass player Rupert McKenzie represents Jamaica as they combine their creative differences from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Caribbean bringing togetherness, peace and understanding.

Meta & The Cornerstones channel Roots Reggae while simultaneously breathing new life into the genre, thus creating what critics have called a “soul-pounding spiritual experience” during their live performances. Inspired by Alpha Blondy and Lucky Dubee, they have shared the stage with Reggae stars Luciano, Steel Pulse, Clinton Fearon, Israel Vibration, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Gentleman and Tanya Stephens amongst others. In 2007, the band was personally invited by Senegalese-born international superstar Youssou N’Dour to perform at his annual African Ball concert at the Nokia Theater in New York. The following year Meta and The Cornerstones proudly released its first album entitled Forward Music. Of this work Clive Chin; Jamaican producer for The Wailers, Dennis Brown, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, notes, “Meta and The Cornerstones have taken us back to the foundation of reggae music.

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