They're B.C. boys making music with a global sound.
So it seems only fitting that Aaron Nazrul and The Boom Booms are playing a free family-friendly gig in Whistler for Earth Hour on Saturday, March 26.
With an energetic and soulful combo of reggae, Latin, rock, soul and, more recently, some African sounds thrown into the mix, the six-man band's music represents a fusion of around-the-world sound.
And front man Aaron Ross promises they won't disappoint: "Come down and have the best hour of your life!"
The band will be performing at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
In keeping with the theme of Earth Hour, the concert will be Whistler's first bike-powered show. In addition to Mayor Ken Melamed and Team Whistler member Jean-Phillippe Boulais, community members can also pedal on the four bikes linked up to the stage. The energy from the pedalling will be converted to power the lights and the sound.
The performance will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. when British Columbians will be asked to turn off their lights to support Earth Hour and raise awareness about solutions to the global problem of climate change.
Interesting, then, that Ross took the name Aaron Nazrul after Kazi Nazrul, the rebel poet of Bangladesh, who once wrote:
"I don't belong to just this country, this society. I belong to the world."
There's a sense that Aaron Nazrul and The Boom Booms are now poised to take the world by storm.
They've put in their time busking in the streets of Europe or picking up small gigs throughout Central America in an old propane-powered RV.
And now things seem to be changing.
This month, for the first time ever, Ross said he has made his living solely from his music, giving up his usual spring/summer time gig of tree planting.
The band's first album is set to be released in June. It follows Aaron Nazrul's solo release, Butterfly Man, in 2007.
And their list of accolades is growing: the video for "When the Night" made it to number six on the Much More Music countdown in 2008 and was later optioned for a recent episode of '90210.' In 2009 "Delivered" was voted Best Roots Song at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.
At heart, however, they are still a group of longtime friends from East Vancouver with Ross on vocals and rhythm guitar, Geordie Hart on bass, Sean Ross on vocals, Tom Van Deursen on guitar, Theo Vincent on percussion, and Richard Brinkman on drums.
"We're a family band," says Ross, adding that his mom and his grandfather make it out to all their shows.
That's why the Earth Hour concert is billed as an all-ages free event that the whole family can attend. But be ready to move.
Ross calls their music "move music" because it's the kind of sound that makes you want to get up and dance.
Their influences include the Buena Vista Social Club, Gregory Isaacs, Manu Chao and Damian Marley.
When asked how The Boom Booms would make this "the best hour of your life," Ross says:
"That's for you to find out."
Community members can come to Whistler Olympic Plaza from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with their pedal power to get the back up generator ready for the show.
Check out www.whistler.ca for more Earth Hour tips and remember to turn off your lights and turn down your heat before heading out to the concert.