Matisyahu Acoustic Festival of Lights

NJ News Festival of LightsIt is probably one of the great unspoken truths in modern education that students learn more about life in college than they do pure book knowledge. Rather than biology, statistics, or, God forbid, Organic Chemistry, they explore the various human experiences that encompass social interaction, the dubious delights of binge drinking and of course, music. Why are college students so in tune with the latest and the greatest new musical artists from all over the globe? Simple. They have a lot of free time because they never go to class! Actually, it’s not that at all. With the advancement of internet apps anyone can now send and sell a song in a tweet faster than Miley Cyrus can twerk. But it has always been that way. Back in the 70’s there were record stores populated and kept bankable by the scores of students that used daddy’s tuition money to buy the newest Fleetwood Mac or AC/DC album. One of the artists who has been discovered and now heralded through the university ranks is a man named Matisyahu. A little history…

Since first emerging on the international stage in 2005, Matisyahu has established a reputation for following his muse: from the stripped-down roots reggae of the gold-certified Live at Stubb’s to the trippy ministrations of Youth to the polished pop eclecticism of Light.

In 2010, he returned to the venerable Austin venue that introduced him for Live at Stubb’s II, demonstrating that all those travels had somehow only strengthened his connection to his musical bedrock. It was a whirlwind half-decade journey, one that earned Matisyahu a place in pop culture at large.

Now based with his family in Los Angeles, Matisyahu blasts off yet again with Spark Seeker, a bold new studio album that finds the one-of-a-kind vocalist and songwriter exploring uncharted territory with help from an expansive cast of collaborators.
“My musical tastes are all over the board,” he says in reference to a record that mixes ancient traditional sounds with futuristic electro beats, rapping with singing, songs of the spirit with songs of the body. “And, besides, my music has never been about the outer garment. It’s about searching out inspiration wherever it lies. This album is about seeking that spark within.”

Righteous. You get passion and dignity and even empowerment at a Matisyahu concert. It is an event, and one that comes at a time when we could all use a little bit of those qualities. It happens at Monmouth University on Thursday, December 5. Happy Matisyahu Days.

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