Bring ‘American Spiritual’ to Kent April 1

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem bring American roots music to Kent’s Spotlight Series on Saturday, April 1. With fiddle, guitar, recycled percussion, four masterful singers, and a guest performance by the local Rainier Youth Choir, the group presents “American Spiritual.” The show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 10020 SE 256th St., Kent.

For sixteen years, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have been brewing their own blend of American roots music. They are a melting pot of American folk melody and style, expertly marrying tradition and improvisation. Unafraid to pair a banjo with Leonard Cohen, a New Orleans rhythm with a Georgia Sea Islands song, or a jaw harp with a pop-infused original, the band creates deep grooves under timeless melodies.

“American Spiritual” leads audiences in a bona fide revival. There’s no tent, no potluck dinner, and no preaching – unless you count the band’s uproarious and wise stories. Instead, this charismatic quartet administers songs and tales that explore and revive the human spirit. From a lush setting of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” to old American shape note hymns, prison work songs, blues, gospel, and original compositions, “American Spiritual” draws from 200 years of roots music to find songs that uplift and connect.

With infectious camaraderie, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem easily coax audiences to join their spine-tingling, rafter-shaking harmonies, clap to roaring fiddle tunes, and open their hearts to songs of love and loss. Big questions are asked, few are answered, much harmony is sung, and a joyful string band is let loose to dispense its good medicine.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have released five albums on Signature Sounds; their 2010 family CD won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and American Library Notable Recording. The band is also well known for their educational residency activities. During their time in Kent, they will work with the local Rainier Youth Choir. The collaboration will culminate in the performance of two songs featuring the Youth Choir during the evening public performance.

Tickets for “American Spiritual” are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $15 for youths. Tickets for this and all Spotlight Series performances are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling 253-856-5051 or in person at the Kent Commons, 525 4th Ave. N.  Hours for phone and in-person sales are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Box office is closed on Sunday.

Spotlight Series is presented by the Kent Arts Commission and Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services, and partially funded by 4Culture, WESTAF, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, and a variety of business and individual sponsors. Partial funding for Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is provided by WESTAF, National Endowment for the Arts, and ArtsWA. For information call 253-856-5050 or visit

Contributed by the City of Kent

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