Big-name acts in Denmark for the Dam Jam

DENMARK — The Dam Jam will turn three on Saturday, Aug. 2, with a celebration featuring three headliners, including 11 musicians from West Africa in the Akwaaba Ensemble, The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, and Deerhoof.

Taking its name from the Ashanti word for “Welcome,” Akwaaba is fronted by the Accra, Ghana (by-way-of Manchester, N.H.) native Theophilus Nii Martey, together with his sister Evelyn and nine other dancers and musicians from Ghana and Guinea. The group has performed throughout New England and throughout the world, bringing their highly energetic brand of “Ghanaian Hi-Life” music to American audiences. Combining intricate, poly-rhythmic drumming, acrobatic dancing, and distinctive Afro-pop melodies, Akwaaba channel the spirit of West Africa with flair. Akwaaba will follow their performance with a free drumming workshop for kids and the young at heart.

The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial orchestra combines an unabashed political sensibility with a symphonic, eclectic musicality (violins, horns, feedback) to create a unique, enormous sound that has no peer in modern music. Led by the outspoken Efrim Menuck, Silver Mt. Zion takes equal influence from jazz, punk rock, Eastern European orchestras, and folk-protest music.

Never easy to pin down, Silver Mt. Zion have nonetheless earned a reputation for an unimpeachable live show, combining passion, energy, and musical discipline. With two violins, a wall of drums, Menuck’s distinctive distortion-laden guitar melodies, and heavy bass notes, this is a band whose music envelops, whose intricate, elongated compositions comprise entire movements and whole narratives.

Deerhoof is one of the most influential alternative bands currently at work in the United States, and hails from San Francisco and New York City. Over the past decade, the band has released a dozen records in musical styles ranging from punk rock to Japanse-inflected pop, and remain as difficult to classify as ever. Held by some to represent a new genre of “cuddly punk pop,”

’s live shows have earned a reputation for combining a manic energy with an unpredictable sense of humor.

With a seven-band lineup, Dam Jam 2014 turns up the volume on alternative music in southern Maine, and offers a great outdoor festival setting to boot. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 day of show.

The concert takes place from 3 p.m.- midnight in Bicentennial Park. For more information, visit www.thedamjam.com.


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