Grammy-nominated Americana star Ondara is playing a huge show in Brunswick next month

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Grammy-nominated Americana star Ondara is playing a huge show in Brunswick next month

Words by Staff Writer

Ondara grew up in Nairobi, Kenya listening to American alt-rock and making up his own songs for as long as he can remember.

At an early age he fell in love with the music of Bob Dylan and was granted a visa through the immigration lottery system. He chose Minneapolis as his home to pursue a career as a singer and songwriter with Dylan in mind.

He began making his way in the local music scene, continually writing songs about what he saw, felt and experienced in a place far different from home. Ondara has toured extensively including sold out European performances, a completely sold-out headlining U.S. tour, appearances at festivals nationwide including Xponential Festival, Newport Folk Festival and Edmonton Folk Festival, and opened for the likes of The Lumineers, First Aid Kit, Neil Young, The Head & The Heart, and more.

Ondara at Brunswick Ballroom

  • 6pm, Sun 1 October
  • Brunswick Ballroom
  • Tickets here.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

In celebration of his critically acclaimed new album Spanish Villager No: 3, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter headed out on his 31-date Rebirth tour, including 11 dates with Rodrigo Y Gabriela.

Of the Rebirth Tour, Ondara recalls, “Now as I return to the road after the pandemic-induced hiatus, as I reintroduce myself to you in this new chapter of my life, it feels like a perfect opportunity to deliberately revisit that feeling, to go back to the beginning, and connect with you again in those same intimate spaces where we met for the first time. This is the intention behind the rebirth tour. To recreate and revisit that feeling we both had when we first met, but to approach it with more intention this time, to be fully present and cherish every moment.”

Of the album, Ondara states, “This collection of work and the work that lies ahead in presenting it to the world, is a metaphor for my spiritual path. There is death and resurrection in it, a peeling of layers, a pursuit of the truest form of the self in the universe. Ironically, the adaptation of the Spanish Villager character has made me more acquainted with myself. By creating an obvious demarcation between the art and the artist, I have charted two paths of maturation. One path is the maturation of the Spanish Villager as a work of art, as a character in a narrative, as a commodity partaking in the mandatory sport of capitalism; the other is my own personal maturation into a spiritual, integrated, and useful member of society.”

The namesake behind the new album is The Spanish Villager: a mysterious man with a potent message who has proven to be a versatile guy: he’s the subject of a short story Ondara wrote and turned into a graphic novel, and now a new album.

Spanish Villager No: 3 follows his 2020 sophomore album, Folk N’ Roll Vol 1: Tales of Isolation, and his 2019 debut album, Tales of America, which was released to widespread critical praise, receiving a nomination for Best Americana Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards. Ondara also received a nod for Best Emerging Act at the 2019 Americana Awards.

Tickets here.