Michael Franti Tickets
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Sing It To Me Santa: Michael Franti & Tracksuit Wedding
Dec 10 2016
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Michael Franti is an American poet, musician, and composer of African, American Indian, Irish, French, and German descent. He was born in April 21, 1966, in Oakland, California. Franti is the creator and lead vocalist of Michael Franti & Spearhead, a band that blends hip hop with a variety of other styles including funk, reggae, jazz, folk, and rock.
He was adopted by Carole and Charles Franti, a white Finnish-American couple in Oakland, who had three biological children and one other adopted African American son.
Charles Franti was a professor in the department of epidemiology and preventative medicine of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine . Michaels four siblings are named Rebecca, Sara, Dan, and Matthew.
Michael attended Lick-Wilmerding High School and graduated from the University of San Francisco. He has two sons, Ade with his wife Tara Franti-Rye, and Cappy from a previous relationship.
In 1986, he began his music career as part of the industrial punk band The Beatnigs. Soon after he fascinated with music and decided to start a band. The Beatnigs included DJ Rono Tse and released a self-titled LP. The records received some critical acclaim but little notoriety beyond the San Francisco bay area.
His next project, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, found Franti continuing his collaboration with Tse, and working with jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, and electronic musicians Mark Pistel and Jack Dangers.
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy wrote biting, progressive lyrics that railed against the injustices of the world, set to a fusion of industrial and hip hop. Their first album won acclaim for its social commentary, and they were chosen by U2 to open for their Zoo TV Tour.
Franti and the Disposable Heroes put together another record of music accompanying novelist William Burroughs readings for an album entitled Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales. In 1994, Franti formed a new band called Spearhead with a few studio musicians.
Their first release, Home, in September 1994, was a departure from the politically charged rap of the Disposable Heroes and drew more from funk and soul music. Their follow up album Chocolate Supa Highway was released in March 1997, with several changes in band members between releases. As Spearhead, the band released two albums, Home and Chocolate Supa Highway, followed by a split with Capitol Records. In 1999, Franti began a deeper exploration of his music and politics.
Charles Franti returned the following year as an organizer and cultural worker tied to several intensifying political movements of the time, voicing his observations through his music. Michael Franti & Spearhead released Stay Human in 2000 on indie music label, Boo Boo Wax and Six Degrees. The albums central theme was the unjust nature of the death penalty and other major themes included media monopolization, the prison-industrial complex and corporate globalization.
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. In a departure from the industrial sounds of the Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes, and the minimalism of early Spearhead, Frantis affirming lyrics are now 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 Dont Stop even manages to bridge the two sounds in a Magnificent Seven style mash-up. On July 25, 2006, Michael Franti & Spearhead released Yell Fire!, inspired by Frantis trip to Israel, Baghdad, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.
Michael Franti continues to gain influence in both popular music and social movements largely through extensive touring and word of mouth fan support.
Lyrics from his song Bomb The World, written in the dark aftermath of September 11 such as You can bomb the world to pieces, but you cant bomb it into peace. The groups newest album All Rebel Rockers was released on September 9, 2008.
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