First, our State Department banned that possible terrorist Boy George from entering our country last month (hit the link to the video below for a spit-take – literally – from the State Department’s rep at a press conference when the conversation goes from the serious topic of Iraq to the Boy!). Now, they’ve also banned the Master Musicians of Jajouka – first brought to attention by late Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones in the early ‘70s and collaborators since then with everyone from Ornette Coleman to the surviving Stones
which means the group will not be performing at this weekend’s annual Concert of Colors. It seems that, according to the U.S. Consulate in Ottawa, because several of the group members’ names are similar to names on a U.S. government watch list, additional processing time for their visa application will take approximately three months as opposed to the usual timeline of a few days. The fact that the Department of Homeland Security granted P3 "unique artist" status to these individuals is irrelevant to the Department of Justice. The bad news is that the group has been forced to cancel all U.S. dates on its current tour and will likely absorb a financial loss. The good news, we guess, is that the musicians can apply this visa application and all related fees towards another visa application for 2009, which they will start processing prior to August st1 of this year in order to begin the process now for next year. That means maybe we’ll see the Master Musicians at the Concert of Colors
in July 2009.
In other Concert Of Colors news, former Detroiter Don Was – who’ll be in town to headline a Detroit Super Session onstage, featuring members of the Dirtbombs, the Go, Sisters Lucas and Mitch Ryder, among numerous others (see our feature in tomorrow’s paper) – will be producing and collaborating on a song calling for peace in Sudan with a group of musicians from that country calling themselves Sudan United for Peace. As the International Criminal Court in The Hague this week considers issuing an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan for alleged war crimes, Sudan’s leading performing artists are in the U.S., calling for an end to violence in their nation
with the Concert of Colors one of only two shows the group will be performing in the U.S. The recording session will take place this Thursday, July 17th, at Royal Oak’s Rustbelt Studios. Sudan United for Peace will then be playing the Concert of Colors on Saturday, July 19th, at 6 p.m. on the Chrysler Main Stage; the Was Detroit Super Session will take place the following day, Sunday, July 20th, at 7:15 p.m. on the same stage.
Master Musicians of Jajouka: No Detroit show this year.