audiences dancing to their feet with their uplifting and inspiring roots rhythms. Their
eclectic blend of African, reggae and percussive music coupled with positive messages
creates an infectious blend of original world music with Heart and Soul."RadioMilwaukee
"Spreading Happiness and
Joy with Every Beat"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
yet ambitious with a bit of a punk spirit."
Milwaukee is our
We are the children of Great Lakes
Building a Holy City by the
if to be free is the most important goal of all, then to help someone
else to be or to become free must be the most sublime and rewarding of
human endeavors.” Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate, Holocaust
KT Rusch - Electric
Bass, Gamelon Ngoni, Vocals
Deon Sartin - Guitar, Vocals
Jessica Vega Gonzalez - Vocals,
Chris Braun - Drum Set
Carl Nichols - Guitar, Vocals
Sarah Korb - Tenor Sax
Lucky Diop - Griot Vocals, Djembe
Bocar Ndiaye - Percussion, Vocals
George Jones - Percussion
Holly Haebig - Vocals
Mandjou Mara- Djembe, Vocals
"The lighthearted yet ambitious
sound of Universal Love Band is a fusion of reggae and African music
with a bit of a punk spirit... Led by the dreadlocked wonder woman KT
Rusch, who navigates her bass guitar with careful love and affection,
the eclectic band transcends genres and pigeon holes, instead choosing
to produce music for the entire world." Shepherd
artists stop making art, the world would collapse, because they have
stopped breathing the future of the soul. They would stop breathing
art and heart into society." –Sonbofu Somé
U-Love at The Hole:
SINKHOLE Site Hosts Concert WTMJ
Newsradio August 2010
Universal Love Band at Music Under Glass Music series at The Mitchell Park Domes
in Milwaukee, WI. Filmed by Trish Kastelic. 2009.
Safara means Fire in the Wolof language of West Africa
"Joyfully aggressive!" Youtube comment
Mitchell Park Domes 2009
Universal Love Band Live at Chill on the Hill, Humboldt Park in Milwaukee, WI.
Bilibosa is "Celebrate" in the West African language of
Wolof. Photos from Summerfest with special guests from Express Yourself Milwaukee.
Special thanks to special guests, Holly Heabig-Wake and Claire Chin
"We're Dreamin', Dreamin'.
Where would we be if you take a dream away.
So we're dreamin', dreamin'
We want you, come on, dream with us today."
ULB performing at the opening of the Ozaukee Interurban Bike Trail
on a windy fall day in September. First performance of new song "Keep
Rolling".. It's all about resilience.
"Oh my mama said...
It's gonna be a jungle
Muddy and Tangled
Your gonna get dirty
Walkin' in bad shoes...
We get Dirty / We Keep Rolling.
Like a Green Bay Packer
We get Dirty / We Keep Rolling."
'The Slits meet the Femmes on the Ivory Coast.'
"Stevie Wonder said it best in the opening verse of his 1976 hit
"Sir Duke." "Music is a world within itself / With a language we all
understand / With an equal opportunity / For all to sing, dance, and clap their
hands." This slice of lyrical wisdom applies to the spirit behind the forthcoming
concept album "Rising Sun" by Milwaukees own Universal Love
Band. For anyone who has seen them jam live, you already know KT as the powerful bassist
who places her bright, smiling face slightly off center stage as the group performs.
Its a good statement in a day and age when musicians, even politically motivated
artists, put too much of their own ego and personality into their performance at the cost
of seriously watering down or hamstringing their message.
The band takes a refreshing tack in terms of advancing their own vision
of a better world, and sometimes so subtly that the infectious Roots rhythmsthat
Ill guarantee will stick in your head long after youve listened to the
CDbelie the earnestness of their message. The conceptual aspect of the album arises
though the combination of their solid grooves, for example on the title track "Rising
Sun," with audio soundscapes of the voices of inner city youth, the community members
they work hard to reach. Through their work with young adults at Milwaukees Juvenile
Detention Center and participation in a Summer 2006 Youth Rally Against Homicide, they
apply cultural teachings from African traditions with a spiritual sense that is not
overtly religious, but is accessible to all. The album boasts lyrical content in roughly a
dozen languages, refreshing in a moment in cultural time where monolinguists attempt to
bully people into expression in the dominant tongue.
As with good Roots music,
youll hear bits and bobs of some of the greats in the genre throughout the album,
such as in "Give It To Me" where there is a lovely reworking of a verse from the
early 1980s classic "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club that puts a positive spin
on the contemplation, "Whatcha you gonna do when you get out of jail?" The
extroverted introspection that weaves through the tracks is uplifting and inspiring,
bringing a level of joy to the scary enterprise of sorting through ones beliefs and
choosing how to act upon them in the real world.
Be sure to
support live shows in the neighborhood and at community events for a group of musicians
whose vision is unique not only for Milwaukee, but for the world and more
importantly, the bold, new world to come!"
its reggae rhythms, afro rhythms or punk rock -- all those influences come together on the
album. It kind of morphs as we start to play it and you can see all the different
influences and I think that's what makes it world music."
"You were awesome you all were hot and I've been burned by your
light and love. Thanks for the positive vibes and the deep lyrics and the good energy.
Last night was a blessing and a whole lotta fun. Keep that fire burning." Sura
you for being you. There was a lot of love in the room." Omar
stirring it up! Really loved your vocals with the group rhythm. Clear, crisp, and
refreshing! A fun surprise while on the ground in the Milwaukee area." - Margo,
I was so engrossed in the music I forget to order my soup. -
"You and your band
were fantastic! It has been a long, long time since any group has sparked my big fat *!*
to move to music. Thank you! You and yours give a lot of energy. Good sounds! Lots of
love!...the finer angels of all were enthralled with your music, your energy, your good
love for all." Godsil
Music is a universal language.
Economics are not a barrier. Culture is not a barrier. Age, race, gender are
not barriers. Music can touch all hearts, connect us and unite us.
Today, in this new millennium, we are bombarded with fractionalizing forces
- from nations to neighborhoods, and within our own selves. Through
music, we can sing, dance, create, exchange, and heal together. We can plant seeds of
respect. Our tiny seeds can grow into towering, sheltering trees
of life. Our simple creative acts can initiate a great leap to solving problems at all levels, because
we are certainly an ingenious species.
Through music we can go beyond
co-existence and truly enjoy each other. Can Muslims and Christians enjoy each other? We do it every Thursday night in Milwaukee when
Universal Love holds a practice session. How can you make war with someone you sing
with? Can 19 to 50 year olds create together with love and
respect? We do it every Thursday night in Milwaukee.
We are creating a Holy City by the Sweetwater Sea. kt
Music Benefit 2013
Special Guests Express Yourself Milwaukee
A human being is a part of a whole, called
by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences
himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical
delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting
us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our
task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to
embrace all living creatures and the whole of Nature in its beauty." -Albert
"In other traditions
demons are expelled externally. But in my tradition demons are
accepted with compassion." -Machik Labdron
Compassion is more emotionally challenging than
loving-kindness because it involves the willingness to feel
pain. It definitely requires the training of a
warrior." -Pema Chodron
Thank You -- Chris Braun, Deon Sartin, Bocar Ndiaye,
Carl Nichols, Jessica Vega Gonzalez, Mandjou Mara, Lucky Diop,
and Sarah Korb. Without each of you, there would be no ULB. Special thanks to Holly Haebig-Wake,
Claire Chin, George Jones and Express Yourself Milwaukee for working with us as special guests
throughout the years. We thank our family and friends for their support.
Thank you to Milwaukee Musicians, Artists and Culture Creators.