"We set out to explore a big world with our music.
Give us a listen, and come along."
to see Paul Micich's paintings and more music:
The seeds of WORLD PORT's original style immigrated here from countless villages, coffeehouses, dance-halls and celebrations around the globe. Those influences came with folks who carry their music in their gestures and the way they speak, in how they cook their food and what they wear, like dust on the soles of their shoes and in their bones, to make a vast gumbo of endless possibilities and variation that inspire WORLD PORT's music.
You taste that gumbo with "Silk" or "No te Olvidare" and you feel the Flamenco pulse of centuries of hands on guitars and heels on wooden floors; or with "The Green" and "Traveler's Rest," you've been to the pub and shared an irreverent story with friends you met on the path to town; or with "Harmonica Blues," you travel a river that has flowed from Africa, through New Orleans, up through St. Louis and out through Chicago to the whole world, tasting of sweat and pain and barbecue and sweet hope.
Like the accents of languages we don't understand, the aroma of foods we first encounter and the rhythm of someone new walking down the street, the music of WORLD PORT tells us stories that transcend words, stories that take the heart to hear and the hands of the musicians to go deep into the pulse they share.
Paul Micich says, "World music is an endless source of inspiration for what I write, each style bringing a rich storytelling language to help lift the music up for our audiences."
But the origins, the history, the back-story is never enough with music. It only really happens in the now, one heartbeat to the next, a lifetime of craft and the imagination of the moment come together to breathe life into the grooves, set fire to the sound and tell the wordless stories audiences come to hear from WORLD PORT. Stories driven by the spirit of a jazz jam, with the flavor of the world, always fresh, never the same.
You might find WORLD PORT in a concert setting, or playing for a special event, but it's the street-level gigs that have shaped the character of the band the most. The day-crowds, out for the sun and something new; at night, lights from every direction reflecting off people's faces; the street vendors with flowers and scarves and paintings and sculptures; and the smell of food from around the world, from enchiladas to barbecue, from falafel to flatbread, from kabobs to spring rolls.
Micich says, "When folks come by for the first time at street level, they usually have no idea who we are. There's no hype or story setup, just us playing. We're there to make the music happen, to make them come along with us, to feel it like we do. It's a pretty simple and clear connection we make when they gather to listen and maybe take some of the experience home with them in a CD."