Friday, August 14, 2009

Bermuda reggae star performs

Center presents laid-back night of music

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents Mishka with Donovan Frankenrieter at Atkinson Park in Ketchum on Saturday, Aug. 15.

The pink sand beaches and crystal blue waters of Bermuda were the backdrop of reggae musician Mishka's youth. His time spent sailing around the pristine island led him to several pastimes, including world-class wind surfing and reggae music. This Saturday he will open for nationally known recording artist Donavon Frankenreiter as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' summer concert series. The show, held at Atkinson Park in Ketchum, begins at 6 p.m.

"I have a broad perspective on life," Mishka said. "To a degree, the music I create and play reflects my perspective."

Mishka's socially conscious lyrics, seductive vocals and hypnotic reggae grooves have garnered him a solid cult following since he began in 1999. Born in Bermuda and raised on a 40-foot sailing vessel built by his parents, Mishka found inspiration from his natural surroundings and the cultures of the Caribbean Islands.

He has been singing since he was 10 years old when he acquired a tape player. The first record he bought was "Avalon" by Roxy Music, and he grew up listening to everything from contemporary rock to South Africa's Juluka, Burning Spear and Bob Marley.

As a young adult Mishka lived on the Lesser Antilles island of Nevis. He devoted himself to writing and performing as well as connecting with people through the intimacy of his music. His lyrics speak to his engaging perspective on life, distrust of authority, distaste of corruption and faith in love and in people of the world.

"World music is a genre," Mishka said. "It's a very broad genre, but I don't like genres because of how they program people to see things. I would love for people to listen to the music and think for themselves."

Mishka said he has no "fixed abode" and his life is all about music and being inspired by life experiences. He has an unusual rich and full reggae sound, alluring and distinct.

"I don't know why it's unique," he said. "I just do what I do and that is how it comes out."

Mishka's sound lured actor Matthew McConaughey to search him out after hearing him play, and he became the first artist signed to McConaughey's label j.k. livin' Records. Since then Mishka has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan and North America, including a sold-out North American acoustic tour opening for Australian multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd.

When asked his age, Mishka said, "I am young, and I have only been around a few thousand years."

Tickets to Donavon Frankenreiter and Mishka are $30 general admission and $10 for kids under 12. To purchase tickets, visit or call 726-9491, ext. 10 or stop by The Center in Ketchum.

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