Who is Innocent? A man, a musician, and a mover. He was born and raised in Tanzania, East Africa, making music with many African Bands, but it was when he heard Bob Marley's Album, KAYA, that he realized his fate: Reggae. The powerful message Marley made with music inspired Innocent to do the same. Innocent moved to the US in 1989 and formed the group Les Exodus. Having produced over five albums, including a solo CD, Innocent has traveled the United States, opening for famous acts, and spreading the joy of Reggae. Continuing the fight for freedom, Innocent performs his songs in English and Swahili. Packed with thought-provoking lyrics, cool guitar, and captivating stage presence, Innocent puts up quite an exhilarating show. His message is real and authentic, with references to repressive governments, fraudulent officials, and hungry children.
Along with a supporting cast of musicians, Innocent has endured the test of time. He and Onesmo Kibira first started Les Exodus until they spun off to form INNOCENT. Onesmo and Innocent have been performing together since they were teenagers in Dar-es-Salaam. Onesmo was also born and raised in Tanzania, where his music career began when he fell in love with playing Bass guitar. He started playing all kinds of music, including African and Reggae music, and has since performed with various bands, touring all across the US.
A drummer since the age of four, Charles "Chilly" Petrus continued to learn music at an early age, soon adding the bass and keyboards to his repertoire. Now a seasoned professional and a favorite on the Minneapolis reggae scene, Chilly has performed with the band "Les Exodus" and recorded with many local and national acts in the reggae community since the early 90's from Ipso Facto to the late, great, Peter Nelson of "Shangoya," among countless others.
Born in Trinidad, Lance Pollonais, started playing conga's and an assortment of drums at an early age. By the time he was nine years old, he learned the steel pan and joined a steel pan band that played and competed on a national level. Pollonais moved to the USA in his late teens and joined Shangoya, a soca band that bought the sound of the Caribbean to cold Minnesota. Pollonais has played with Innocent since the early 90s and has performed and travelled with INNOCENT across the USA, playing for universities, colleges, and bars all across the west coast.
Guitarist Deevo brings a wide array of musical background, with performance experience ranging from R&B, jazz, reggae, funk, rock, gospel, and blues. He was born and raised in Chicago, and has come a long way from the boy who used to walk to his music lessons a mile and half away while carrying his guitar in a "Hefty" bag. He is now based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Currently he is performing with many bands and also working as a producer and songwriter.
The true dedication to their message of international injustices and the unprivileged people in the world makes INNOCENT a rare band, bringing the roots of Reggae to the Northrop plaza on June 25.