In the fall of 2010 the members of Andover, Mass.-bred Grimis traveled to the village of Kisii, Kenya with Andover Youth Services, the hometown youth programming group that provided the band with resources and mentorship when they were just teenagers starting out.
The group, consisting of Grimis' Andrew Doherty, Pete Michelinie and David Tanklefsky, Andover Youth Services Founder Billy Fahey and his daughter Summer, AYS coordinator Tony Lombardi and recording engineer Tom Blanford recorded an album with the students of the Margaret Okari School, many of whom have been orphaned by AIDS.
Later this month, Grimis will tour the East Coast to promote the two-disc CD members recorded in Kenya, which features the band accompanying the students and teachers of the Margaret Okari School. One of these stops will be April 30 at Old Town Hall in Andover, also known as the Town House, at 20 Main St.
Each concert will be proceeded by a short documentary about the project. Proceeds from the record will go to the Okari Foundation, the school's fundraising arm, according to the band.
"At this point, the band is more about friendship and a way of living ones life — with passion and a sense of purpose — than it is about music," says Grimis' guitarist/lead singer David Tanklefsky.
The band of elementary school friends officially formed when they were sophomores at Andover High School in 2001.
The boys of Grimis broke onto the music scene in the mid-2000s performing alongside bands like The Slip, Apollo Sunshine, Piebald and Thao With the Get Down Stay Down. Its members have become sought-after sidemen, playing with nationally-recognized projects like Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, Emil & Friends and Quiet Life.
In addition, its members have traveled the world in pursuit of interests outside music. Doherty spent two months recently in Africa recording with the Maasai tribe followed by a journey through Mexico and Guatemala. Michelinie is a 17th century-style furniture maker who also converts vans to run on vegetable oil in Portland, Ore. He has hiked both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. Tanklefsky is a journalist and baseball play-by-play announcer working this summer in Shreveport, La.
April 26, Boston University, Boston
April 27, Pianos, New York, NY
April 28, Ten Forward Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
April 29, The Western Front, Cambridge
April 30, Old Town Hall, Andover
May 1, Radio Bean, Burlington, Vt.