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Rodriguez: An Intimate Evening of Music & Conversation w/ Raye Zaragoza 12/21/2019Saturday, December 21 2019 6PM Doors / 8PM Start
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Rodriguez: An Intimate Evening of Music & Conversation w/ Raye Zaragoza 12/21/2019
Rodriguez, the legendary singer-songwriter known only by his surname, is a self-taught guitarist. He began performing in bars and clubs around the city of Detroit in the 1960s, as the city suffered post- industrial urban decay. It was there that he recorded two studio albums, Cold Fact in 1969 and Coming from Reality in 1971 released on Sussex records. These recordings went unnoticed in the U.S. and Rodriguez eventually turned his efforts elsewhere, earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Wayne State University, running for political office and working construction and factory jobs to support his family.
In the mid-1970s, his music gained airplay in Australia and New Zealand. He has since toured there several times, to play festivals, arenas & theaters. He released “Rodriguez Rocks – Live In Australia“ in 2016 on Light in the Attic Records and has just completed a multi-city tour of Australia in November/December of 2016.
In the late 1990s, South African fans finally sought him out, leading to the unanticipated renaissance of his music career. Their story is told in the 2012 Oscar award-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul, which has given Rodriguez a new measure of fame in the U.S. with his music and story now reaching audiences worldwide. The film has been aired multiple times on PBS and public TV worldwide and is available on DVD and streaming TV.
Rodriguez was unaware that he had reached legendary folk-rock super stardom status in South Africa, where mistaken rumors circulated that he had perished. As it turns out, South African anti-Apartheid activists and musicians alike were inspired by his counterculture lyrics. At the beginning of 2016 he went on a multi-city tour of South Africa, often playing multiple nights in arenas.
Rodriguez now tours extensively in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Canada and the U.S., where he takes thoughtful appreciation in greeting longtime fans, and a new generation of listeners who find common ground in his music. His albums, Cold Fact and Coming from Reality have been re-released on Light in the Attic Records and the Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack is available on Sony Legacy. International media attention, awareness and accolades have since been bestowed upon both the documentary - Searching for Sugar Man and Rodriguez’s music.
He has perhaps one of the most unique true music business stories of fleeting fame finally realized. Rodriguez is enjoying the collective heartfelt dream of a musician, beating the odds and finding a place in music history. With a music career that has withstood the test of time; the story of Rodriguez is one of sweet success.
Raye Zaragoza (pronounced ray zay-rah-GO-zah) is an award-winning singer-songwriter who carries an acoustic guitar and a message. Her quiet yet powerful song “In the River,” written in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, garnered half a million video views, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar. Her forthcoming sophomore LP recorded with Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, First Aid Kit) will be released in 2020.
Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. "As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life," she says. "I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice."
Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”
Raye performs her music all over the United States and Europe. Her music has been featured on Billboard, Popmatters, Earmilk, Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste, Daytrotter, and FNX.
Raye has spoken on panels at Bonnaroo and SXSW on topics ranging from preventing sexual violence to engaging her fanbase as an independent artist. She has toured in support of Dispatch, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Kiefer Sutherland, William Elliott Whitmore, Dar Williams, Donovan Woods, and many more.
"Speaking truth to power, Raye Zaragoza is a voice made for our times." - PopMatters