Ila Mawana
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Ila Mawana

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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Northeast reggae band’s 6 song self-titled debut EP. Hailing from Boston this 8 member jam/reggae band delivers a positive sound with elements of roots and dub. Bombastic horns can also be herd and it’s all topped off with a live jam band feel (Grateful Dead, Phish, etc.). Well done reggae I enjoyed and if you’re into live reggae instrumentation you’ll agree too. - WRUV Burlington


One of the best Roots/Jam bands coming out of Boston. - Rich P. - Ingenious Concepts


BOSTON’S REGGAE SCENE IS GROWING, and iLa Mawana is at the center of it, eight friends spreading the love with groovy reggae dub and bursts of South American flavor. The band’s combination of warbling organ, staccato guitar, and powerful saxophone blasts is mellow yet energetic, and has gotten crowds bopping and swaying when iLa Mawana has hit the stage with Boston favorites Spiritual Rez and Toubab Krewe, or at its own gigs. - MySecretBoston.com


Featured in Music Connection Magazine's Top 100 Unsigned Acts of 2009 - Music Connection Magazine


iLa Mawana play all different kinds of roots reggae – upbeat anthems, slow grooves, sweet ballads and some psychedelic dub – and do all of it well. Late on a weeknight, they kept the Sullivan Hall crowd in the house and had everybody swaying through a 40-minute set that could have gone on for twice as long if the club had let them. Bassist Ryan Hinchey was perfect, supplying fat, chronic low end just a hair behind the beat like Family Man Barrett did in the Wailers. Drummer Sammy Wags had the one-drop down cold but also had a lot of different beats up his sleeve, especially on the faster numbers, abetted by a nimble conga player stashed toward the back of the stage. Organist Jason Moore added funky blips and bleeps when he wasn’t washing away the River of Babylon with a river of his own; guitarist Dave Rosen didn’t get the chance to step out much, but when he did he showed off a warm, understated Steve Cropper soul style. Singer Gianpaolo Blower goes for casual and laid-back – this band is all about good vibes – with some brassy, spot-on high harmonies from the band’s friend Sarah, who came up from the audience to join them for the second part of the set. They segued from their slinky opener, Dub Electa into a quick romp through a hypnotic one-chord jam, then into another original featuring a casually bluesy solo from their excellent alto sax player (their three-piece horn section added a welcome brightness over the trance-inducing pulse of the bass). Shifting chords hypnotically until it was practically impossible to find the beat – just moving anywhere at this point felt good – Tree Dub gave their trumpeter a chance to choose his spots.

The title track to their forthcoming new album Soldiers of Sound was as dubwise as they got, bringing it down with simple yet dizzyingly effective reverb guitar. The set wound up with a couple of fast, bouncy numbers, Frankly and Mortal Motion and closed with the big, spiritually charged Karmaland that wound down to just a tasty keyboard solo over the bass and drums at the end. If roots reggae is your thing – from the classics to current-day stars like Groundation and Meta & the Cornerstones – iLa Mawana (there – got it right) will hook you up. The cd release show is at Harpers Ferry in Allston, MA on 5/15; summer tourdates below.

http://lucidculture.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/concert-review-ila-mawana-at-sullivan-hall-nyc-5610/ - Lucid Culture


"Frankly" featured on the Homegrown Music Network Volume 9 CD Compilation - HGMN


Unsigned Band of the Week: iLa Mawana

iLa Mawana is an eight-piece original reggae movement based in Boston, MA. Recently named one of the Top 100 Hottest Unsigned Acts of 2009 by Music Connection Magazine, iLa Mawana released their home-brewed, 12-track studio album Soldiers of Sound on May 15, 2010: "…A mixture of old school dub/roots reggae with a modern twist.” – Performer Magazine.


Touring throughout the Northeast over the past three years, iLa Mawana followed their studio release with a six-week national tour, featuring debut appearances in Florida, Texas, Oregon, and California. This tour included a performance alongside DJ Ras MG from Sublime and The Eagles of Death Metal at Epic Daze, the after party for the 1st annual HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup in San Francisco.


The group has developed a strong reputation for tight pocket reggae grooves and captivating melodies. iLa Mawana has performed alongside reggae legends The Original Wailers as well as 2009 Grammy winner Burning Spear, Groundation, The Aggrolites, & Toubab Krewe.


Visit iLa Mawana at:

ilamawana.com
facebook.com/ilamawana
twitter.com/ilamawana
- High Time Magazine 7/01/10


Wednesday seemed to be a vortex of endless good shows in Portland. Included in the mix was Boston’s iLa Mawana, an eight-piece reggae band, who made the masses happy at Mt. Tabor Theater.

Having toured the East Coast extensively, growing a large population of followers, and garnering some good music press, the band embarked on their first ever West Coast tour this spring, to promote their first full length album, Soldiers of Sound. Influenced by those they’ve toured with, including Grammy winners Burning Spear, they really do possess the ability to make likable reggae music.

You can listen to Soldiers of Sound now to see for yourself.

Wednesday night, the sounds were energized, and positive — needed at a late show such as this — and plenty of people found the dance floor and enjoyed themselves. Self-described as a modern reggae family, iLa Mawana incorporates dub and roots, and of course a little Bostonian jam band flair, to bring forth a heap of good vibes.

Those who were at the show were lucky to share in the celebration of the band’s first West Coast tour and Portland premier. Surely, iLa Mawana felt the love as much as we did, and will be back for more in the future. - Oregon Music News


iLa Mawana
Purdy Lounge, Miami Beach
Thursday, May 20, 2010

A city drenched in dubstep could always use a breather. Thursday night, Lance O. and the kids from Kulcha Shok welcomed Boston-based reggae octet iLa Mawana for a relaxing serving of dub and Afrobeat at Purdy Lounge. The soundtrack was ideal for the Third Thursdays bash, which features live music, comped cocktails for ladies, and surfing videos plastered on a projector. Sure, an extensive rush of gals aligned the bar, but those who love to skank -- or perhaps a more watered-down version of movement -- hit the dance floor for one sensual, feel-good concert.

iLa Mawana took to the floor for its Miami debut -- Purdy's not too keen on stages, but live bands deliver with resonating, level sound. Half the crew was clad in straw fedoras, stylishly celebrating the week-old release of the group's debut album, Soldiers of Sound. Including, of course, the title track, the clan played a clean, organic set of uplifting tunes, where drums flirted with bass and horns and the vocals seduced. "Green Bridge" particularly displayed the band's talent for storytelling, both lyrically and instrumentally, bringing a depth to the group's organic dub sound.

As in any live music experience, the musicians' chemistry was intriguing, but iLa would make any chick declare her horniness for horns. "Frankly" was suitably brass-heavy, with an upbeat sound like a timeless groove plucked from a late-night beach party.

Vocalist Gianpaolo Blower, though, is a real standout of this act, luring in listeners with a serene, calming croon, with hints of both Bob Marley and even Bobby McFerrin. It was a don't - worry - be - happy kind of mood overall, especially when the band launched into several whimsical covers. One of these was "Yellow Submarine," which organist Jason Moore dedicated to his father. iLa concluded the show with a bit of nostalgic dessert: "Pure Imagination," with Blower cheerfully belting the lyrics to the Willy Wonka soundtrack classic.

By the Way: As part of an eight-city Florida tour, iLa Mawana heads to Sarasota Friday night. But definitely plan on a few damn good microbrews and an even more intimate set Saturday night at Boca's Funky Buddah Lounge. A double dose of irie? Yes, mon.

www.miaminewtimes.com - Miami New Times


The universal sounds of iLa Mawana was a welcome addition to the HearNowLive stable. Blending heavy dub grooves with old school reggae rhythms they had the huge crowd dancing to the very last note of their set. The seven piece band from all over the US like to bring fans and music together to create a mesmerizing mood that lasts until their next performance. Highlighted by Dave Rosen's guitar work, and singer Gian Paolo's groovy sounds iLa Mawana will be a Boston mainstay for years to come. - Hear Now Live


"Mastering the sub-genre of reggae known as “dub”, Ila Mawana in particular is creating original music that has the same feel-good qualities and messages as old school reggae, while bringing something new and fresh to the genre....Their music was not just good, but it was captivating, you felt it in your bones, and it just brought a smile to my face at least"

Read the full review:
http://truthaboutmusic.com/playitloud/2010/02/13/reggae-has-a-home-in-boston/ - truthaboutmusic.com


"Seriously solid roots/dub reggae that gets the body moving"

RECORD REVIEW: iLa Mawana
iLa Mawana
Boston, MA
Produced by iLa Mawana
Mixed & mastered by Sam Wagner
Recorded at Sam Wagner Studio
By: Tanya Fuller

iLa Mawana's self-titled EP is a mixture of old school dub/roots reggae with a modern twist. Think Israel Vibrations meets Lee Scratch Perry and Matisyahu on a stage somewhere in the ska-filled 90's. At its core, Boston-based iLa Mawana is solidly reggae, but by mixing dub, roots and Afro-beat, they add dimension to their sound, taking them from quintessential to alluring.

The EP's first track, "Heaven's Beach," is a happy, go-lucky song. Complete with catchy offbeats and an accompanying, robust horn section, it serves as an introduction to the band's reggae influence. In "Dub Electa," iLa Mawana maintains a fine balance between poppy and dub reggae. Backing instruments highlight the band's rhythmic cadence, while Gian Paolo Blower's vocals punctuate the song's ebb and flow. "Karmaland" and "Karma Dub" are darker, more dub-focused songs with lulling tempos that give ILa Mawana a decisive edge over other contemporary reggae bands.

Steadily touring the Northeast for the past couple of years has served them well. Sharing the stage with the likes of Burning Spear, the Original Wailers and Toubab Krewe has given iLa Mawana a birds-eye-view of what it takes to have longevity. They have created a record that showcases their proficiency as musicians and energy as entertainers. With each song, the instruments, vocals and beats are clearly defined and have direction. This is a band with a vision. (self-released) - Tanya Fuller, Performer Magazine


Ila Mawana is one of the most unique and exciting new bands I've had the pleasure of working with. They always give an amazing show and they bust their asses to hold up their end of the promoter / band equation. I think they are going to have a long career of really innovative modern roots reggae! - Dan Millen - President/Talent Buyer


"Energetic without losing control, the players infected the crowd with their passion..."

iLa Mawana
Harper's Ferry 2/14/10 Allston, MA
Web: www.myspace.com/ilamawana
AMP Username: ilamawana
Dave Rosen, guitar; Ryan Hinchey, bass; Gian Paolo Blower, vocals; Jason Moore, organ; Sammy Wags, drums; Nancy Loedy, saxophone; Elyse Hendrickson, back up vox; Trevor Bernatchez, trumpet; Ryan Nava, auxiliary percussion.

Material: Boston's iLa Mawana have a vibrant Jamaican flavor that uses a familiar template, proudly following in the footsteps of reggae legends. Adding a twist to their traditional leanings, the nine-piece posse fuse their style with strains of dub and ska, then alter the vibe further with lyrics that fit more naturally with today's sensibilities.

Musicianship: If nothing else is
to be said about iLa Mawana, it
must be noted how unified they are in presenting a cohesive sound. Throughout their pitch-perfect 50- minute set, not a single note missed its mark. It's a remarkable achievement, considering their oversized crew seem designed to overwhelm audiences with sheer volume. While longer, more complex instrumental breaks can give their music space to breathe, each of the group's members falls into place like a piece of a perfectly constructed jigsaw puzzle.

Performance: It was evident that
iLa Mawana love performing their
brand of island music. Energetic
without losing control, the players infected the crowd with their passion, especially when frontman Gian Paolo Blower prowled the stage. While authentic percussion, a generous helping of horns and the occasional four-fingered whistle
offered plenty to get excited about, it was their vocal hooks that won over the audience. Jason Moore's keyboard flourishes really sent the crowd into hyper drive, hinting that the group could do well to expand upon his role.

Summary: Like a rasta-styled PFunk collective, iLa Mawana bring a blast of sunshine to the East Coast's unrelenting winters. Though they fail to expand much upon the conventions of their genre, the worst criticism one can hurl at the group is that their name is a clunker. That said, like the artists to whom they owe their sound, it's impossible to listen to iLa Mawana's riddims without grinning and grooving. Keep an eye out this summer for their
homebrewed studio album.

-Andy Kaufmann - Andy Kaufman - Music Connection Magazine


Discography

Ila Mawana - EP (2009)
Ila Mawana - Soldiers of Sound (May 15th, 2010)

Photos

Bio

The Boston-based groove reggae group released their debut full-length album Soldiers Of Sound on May 15th, 2010. iLa Mawana then completed a five-week U.S. tour in support of the new release, including debut performances in FL, TX, LA, CA, and OR. After being featured at the 1st ever High Times Cannabis Cup in the USA alongside hip hop legend Lyrics Born & Sublime's DJ RAS MG, High Times named iLa Mawana Unsigned Band of The Week in July 2010.
http://www.ilamawana.com

"...a stealth contender for one of the best albums of 2010." - Lucid Culture

Soldiers Of Sound consists of 12 new tracks that showcase iLa Mawana's unique reggae style. The eight-piece band was named one of the Top 100 Hottest Unsigned Acts of 2009 by Music Connection Magazine.

iLa Mawana have steadily toured the Northeast for the past three years, sharing the stage with renowned artists such as Burning Spear, The Original Wailers, Groundation, Toubab Krewe, Collie Buddz, The Aggrolites & Passafire. In July 2009, they released a self-titled six-track EP, described by Performer Magazine as "...a mixture of old school dub/roots reggae with a modern twist."

"ILa Mawana exuded such a profound, positive energy that wrapped you up and kept you enchanted..." - Homegrown Music Network

Currently the iLa Mawana Family is writing new tunes and planning for their early 2011 East Coast Tour.