Devendra Banhart

Live Nation and The Majestic Ventura Theater Present

Devendra Banhart

Tue, October 15, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:00 pm)

$26.00 - $31.00

This event is all ages

Devendra Banhart has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold will go to World Central Kitchen's effort to provide hot, nutritious meals to Venezuelan refugees.

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Devendra Banhart
Devendra Banhart
Banhart emerged seemingly out of nowhere in 2002 with his first CD
collection, Oh Me Oh My…The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is
Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit,
compiled by Swans frontman Michael Gira for his Young God label
from homemade recordings the itinerant Banhart had amassed as he
traveled the world. He was born Devendra Obi Banhart in Houston,
Texas, but spent his childhood in Caracas, Venezuela; as a teenager, his
family returned to the States, relocating in Southern California, where
he soon became enamored of skateboard culture. “Ballad of Keenan
Milton,” in fact, is an homage to the legendary skateboarder, who died
tragically in 2001 in a freak accident.
Music was always a passion for Banhart, and he discovered it in ways
both magical and haphazard. As a boy in Caracas, says Banhart, “I was
surrounded by salsa, merengue, cumbia, some bossa nova—that was
ubiquitous, you’d hear it on any street.” In what could be an excerpt
from a David Sedaris monologue, Banhart claims he found his own
voice one day when he was home alone and impetuously donned one of
his mother’s dresses, grabbed her hair brush and started to sing. What
came out was a prepubescent sound he could call his own, a
touchstone, something that echoed, years later, in the falsetto of his
early albums. In high school, Banhart became obsessed with
rocksteady, bluebeat, and ska, which he’d learned about via
skateboarding videos.
Finishing high school, he thought he would pursue a visual arts career
so he enrolled at the San Francisco Art Institute, but he soon dropped
out in favor of exploring music. He has, however, successfully
maintained a parallel career as a painter: Banhart’s distinctive, minutely
inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the
world, including the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; the
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in
Brussels; and Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. He has
created the cover art for most of his records, and in 2010 his artwork
and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.

San Francisco had an indelible influence on Banhart; the flamboyant
dressing he adopted that entranced the fashion crowd (and fueled the
“freak folk” and “New Weird America” labels the press attached to
him) was inspired in part by the seriously subversive cross-dressing
culture of San Francisco’s legendary performance troupe the Cockettes.
Like Nonesuch label-mates Caetano Veloso and David Byrne, with
whom he shared a stage at Carnegie Hall, Banhart has embraced an
astonishingly wide range of musical ideas, from folk to blues to the
avant garde. He extols the late Arthur Russell, a relentlessly eclectic
artist who was impossible to pigeonhole in his brief lifetime, and
Banhart has brought back into the spotlight forgotten artists like late-
’60s singer Vashti Bunyan, whose psychedelic folk he championed. He
has collaborated with Brazilian legends Os Mutantes, the Swans,
Antony and the Johnsons, and Beck, among others, and has engaged in
art projects like conceptualist Doug Aitken’s monumental 2012 Song 1
video installation on the façade of the Hirschhorn Museum in
Washington, DC.
For Banhart, his career remains “an adventure and an exploration.”
Banhart admits, “I don’t really take care of my voice, but, just like with
playing guitar, you get more familiar with it, and you get better at it.
I’ve always said that I’m very good at not knowing how to play the
guitar but, really, it’s just that I’m very comfortable with the utter
uncertainty of my approach.”
Venue Information:
Ventura Theater
26 S. Chestnut St.
Ventura, CA, 93001