Lenny Kravitz to headline Bates concert

Lenny Kravitz, whose down-and-dirty rock anthems, including “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” have won critical and popular acclaim, will perform at Bates on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. in the Clifton Daggett Gray Athletic Building. Sean Lennon, son of the late Beatles member and music legend John Lennon, will open for Kravitz with songs from his album, Into the Sun. Tickets are $20 and are available at Bull Moose Music stores in Lewiston (207-784-6463) and Portland (207-780-6424).

A collage of hip-hop grooves and rock guitar, classic melody and funk, Kravitz has been a musical chameleon since his 1989 debut with Let Love Rule. His latest CD, 5 features surprising instrumentation, including wah-wah guitar, mellotron, mini-moog and even green Heineken bottles played for percussion. “I was listening to a lot of New York hip-hop then,” said Kravitz of the eight months spent recording 5. “Making this album, I felt like a kid with a box of crayons. And I used all the colors.”

A child of two cultures, Kravitz grew up Bahamian and Jewish in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the son of television producer Sy Kravitz and actress Roxie Roker, who played Helen on “The Jeffersons.” Influenced by jazz and R&B in New York City, Kravitz moved to Los Angeles, where he sang with the California Boys Choir and recorded with Zubin Mehta.

Critics have lauded Kravitz’s originality and breadth of influences, and audiences have been thrilled by his incendiary live performances.

Lennon, as bassist for Cibo Matto, has opened for Boss Hog, Beck, Sonic Youth and the Butthole Surfers, and performed at San Francisco’s Tibetan Freedom Concert, organized by the Beastie Boys.

Influenced by Brazillian composers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Caetano Veloso, as well as Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson and Chet Baker, Lennon said Into the Sun was mostly inspired by his girlfriend and producer, Yuka Honda, of Cibo Matto.

“It’s about sharing everything with somebody and the risks involved,” Lennon said. “People who have heard my record often comment on how it jumps from rock to jazz to country. I think that’s the best thing about it.”

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