Rupa & the April Fishes
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Rupa and the April Fishes create a sound that pulsates with the pluralism of Bay Area culture, celebrating life and the art of resistance through a wide musical palette that pulls from over a decade of playing street parties, festivals and symphonic concerts through 29 countries with songs in 5 languages. Under the direction of composer, frontwoman, activist and physician Rupa, the band creates a live experience which is a manifestation of a world beyond nations, where the heart of humanity beats louder than anything that divides us. This is Liberation Music.
The group's first album eXtraOrdinary rendition (2007) examines love and loss from many angles, with lyrics mostly in French; the second Este Mundo (2009) follows their journey from Tijuana to Texas, tracing the plight of migrants crossing borders, largely in Spanish; the twelve songs of BUILD (2012) examine the road from solitude to solidarity in both directions and arise from a particularly tender moment of global awakening—from the collapse of capitalism and false democracies to the rise of populist movements around the world. Their LIVE at the Independent (2013) album was produced at the request of fans and has become a historic document at the center of a lawsuit which liberated "Happy Birthday To You" back to the commons where it belongs. Their most recent release OVAL (2015) is a luscious collection of string quartet Rupa's most intimate love songs arranged by composer Mark Orton for Quartet San Francisco.
In April 2019, the group released its sixth album Growing Upward in a plastic-free, plantable format--as a set of 12 seed packets. These songs come from a time of Rupa's deep engagement as a physician in places where the social underpinnings of what ails us becomes starkly clear, working closely with groups struggling for dignity, health and sovereignty in a time of climate catastrophe. Laced with love, optimism and unflinching analysis and inspired by direct conversations with Gil Scott Heron, families who have lost their loved ones to police violence and the indigenous grandmothers at Standing Rock, this album is a document of where we are today and where we can focus our gaze in order to rise to the challenges that face us on planet earth. The album features artwork by a longtime collaborator, the art-ivist and muralist, Mona Caron.
The band consists of drummer Aaron Kierbel, cellist Misha Khalikulov, trumpeter Mario Alberto Silva, electronics artist/duduk player JHNO, bassist Daniel Fabricant, violinist Matt Szemela and guitarist/vocalist Rupa.
The New Parish
1743 San Pablo Ave
Oakland, CA, 94612