Michael Franti & Spearhead Tickets

Michael Franti (born April 21, 1966, in Oakland, California) is an African, Irish, and German American poet, musician, and composer. He is currently the singer-songwriter for Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, folk and rock.

On July 25, 2006, Michael Franti & Spearhead released their new album, entitled Yell Fire!, inspired by Franti's trip to war-torn Baghdad, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The band frequently tours and plays at music festivals around the world, including their own "Power to the Peaceful" festival held annually in San Francisco.

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Michael Franti & Spearhead Tickets

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Michael Franti & Spearhead was formed in 1994 by Franti. While he continued to create politically and socially conscious lyrics, Michael Franti & Spearhead's music drew more from funk and soul than the industrial sound of Franti's previous groups. The band released their first album, Home, in September of 1994. Their follow up album, Chocolate Supa Highway, was released in March of 1997.

Stay Human was released in 2000 on his own indie label, Boo Boo Wax and Six Degrees. The album's themes are justice and survival, touching on issues like media monopolization and incarceration. The highly successful album Everyone Deserves Music was released in 2003. Franti composed many of the songs from his guitar and, like fellow 21st century cultural globalists Manu Chao and Ozomatli, continues to synthesize his eclectic influences. The album is highlighted by the minimalism of early Michael Franti & Spearhead's music along with Franti's affirming lyrics set to appropriately swelling rock chords, while keeping a world-wise groove nodding towards reggae, dancehall, bossa nova, Afrobeat and funk. Anthems like the title track "Everyone Deserves Music", "Yes I Will" and "Bomb The World" are constructed with a nod to the '80s rock of The Clash and U2 , as well as classic soul from Stax and Motown. The song "We Don't Stop" even manages to bridge the two sounds in a "Magnificent Seven" style mash-up.

Michael Franti & Spearhead continues to hit the festival circuit worldwide, in addition to producing the annual "Power to the Peaceful" festival, which has drawn more than 20,000 people to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco over the past seven years. In both popular music and the peace movement, Franti has never been more relevant and influential. Lyrics from his song "Bomb The World", written in the dark aftermath of September 11, have found their way onto protest signs and T-shirts all over the world from Los Angeles to Berlin, San Francisco to CNN, as millions have marched for peace. "You can bomb the world to pieces," he sings, "but you can't bomb it into peace."