The one-man powerhouse born Jeff Baker but known in musical circles as King Django is one of the most influential Americans in ska, full stop. In the '80s and '90s, he — along with a handful of other figures like the Toasters' Rob "Bucket" Hingley — was responsible for bringing the originally Jamaican sound to the States. As a bandleader, Django helped accomplish that through acts like Skinnerbox and the Stubborn All-Stars, the latter of which even scored some MTV airplay for a brief blip in the late '90s. But as the scene went underground, Django didn't let up, and his musical explorations expanded. Today, his catalog includes ska offshoots like rock steady and reggae, related genres like soul, and a few left-field outings into styles like klezmer. Latter-day solo King Django shows have often leaned toward a heavy roots sound and played for a slightly more hippieish crowd, and he's been known to crankily rebuff audience requests for early material. Still, with nearly a quarter century of material to draw from, anything is technically game on this current tour, which supports a live album, Brooklyn Hangover, released last year.
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