about the album
"With all the world influences, to me this a rock and roll record," Raja states of the HumanBEING repertoire. "I know most people will see it as a world music record, but if you listen carefully, you can see that rock and roll is the thread that ties it all together. With all the differences I've seen through my years of touring all over the world, I have always found we have more in common with each other than those differences. HumanBEING is simply a reflection of what I have seen and experienced through my lenses." He adds, "and as much as it's a story of me, it's also the story of you. Humanbeing!"
about the artist
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, American guitarist Raja Kassis is an integral part of the greater music community in New York City. Best known for his work recording and touring with Blitz The Ambassador, Raja Kassis can also be heard on countless albums, soundtracks and live stages all around the world. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Raja Kassis cut his teeth for 15 years in the Senegalese underground scene in America touring with the likes of Senegalese luminaries Fatou Guewel, Kine Lam, Marie N'Diaye and Fatou Laobe, and also performed with famed singer Assane N'Diaye in Dakar, Senegal. His mentor while living in Boston was Lamine Toure (currently an artist in residence at MIT), widely regarded as one of the greatest sabar drummers of the "Boul Fale" generation. In addition, Kassis has also performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall (in Antibalas which served as the house band for the Paul Simon Tribute) and his guitar work can also be heard on the soundtrack to Mark Jackson's movie entitled "War Story" starring Ben Kingsley and Catherine Keener. As a solo artist, Raja Kassis will be releasing his forthcoming album entitled Human((BEING)) this year (2014). Raja Kassis has performed and recorded with artists such as, Blitz The Ambassador, Angelique Kidjo, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, Damian Marley, Julian Marley, Antibalas, Hassan Hakmoun, Nneka, Allen Toussaint, Talib Kweli, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave), Capelton, URoy, Oxmo Puccino, Marcelo D2, Mike Gordon (Phish), Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Meta and the Cornerstones, Peetah Morgan (Morgan Heritage), Cat Core (Third World), Toubab Krewe, Emicida, Sarkodie, Y'akoto, Fashawn, Amayo's FU ArkistRA, Akoya Afrobeat, Les Nubians, Corneille, Teranga (NYC Mbalax band From Senegal), Assane N'Diaye, Fatou Guewel, Kine Lam, Marie N'Diaye, Fatou Laobe, Balla Kouyate, Lamine Toure and Group Saloum, among many, many others Raja Kassis has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall (Paul Simon tribute with Antibalas House Band), The Apollo Theater (NYC), Lincoln Center (NYC), Central Park Summer Stage (NYC), Celebrate Brooklyn Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NYC), Northsea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, Holland), Musicales do Mundo (Sines, Portugal), TransMusicales (Rennes, FR), Womex (Copenhagen), Womad (Malmesbury, U.K.), Theatre De La Ville (Paris, FR), Paradiso (Amsterdam, holland), SESC Pompeii (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Nuits D'Afrique (Montreal), Smithsonian (Washington, DC), Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, DC).