25 years after the release of the groundbreaking BAKA BEYOND debut album, SPIRIT OF THE FOREST, the band celebrate their beginnings with a series of UK dates, including a show at LEEDS CHAPEL on WEDNESDAY 17 OCTOBER, when they will be rejoined after a long absence by Paddy Le Mercier, a member of the original line up. After eleven albums, BAKA BEYOND continue to pay homage to the captivating music of the Baka people, utilising it to explore their own African and Celtic roots.
The band’s conception is the stuff of legend. Borne out of an impulsive dash to Cameroon to meet indigenous Pygmies – the Baka – following the viewing of the renowned Phil Agland’s documentary People of The Rainforest, UK based musicians Martin Cradick and Su Hart were captivated by the music they heard there.
Returning with field recordings and a clutch of newly learned techniques – including a kind of yodelling called ‘yelli’ – Martin and Su worked with legendary producer Joe Boyd alongside Paddy Le Mercier and other friends and collaborators, to conceive SPIRIT OF THE FOREST, which heralded a new, worldwide audience for the music of the Baka.
As the album made its mark so, too, did the band, producing explosive sets on the festival circuit and recording ten subsequent albums. In order to ensure that the Baka people remained as central to the project as was always intended, Martin and Sun established the Global Music Exchange [GME] a charity organisation to raise funds to support the Baka in health, education, housing and human rights.
The band and the charity have since entertained audiences throughout the world whilst demonstrating the challenges that the Baka people face, both socially and environmentally, through screenings of their FOREST VOICES film. They have also taken Baka musicians on tour with them.
In October this year, Martin, Su, Paddy and the band’s current musicians, will be out on the road again, celebrating where their story began; the songs, the sounds and the spirit of the forest.
2018 TOUR LINE UP:
SU HART | vocals
MARTIN CRADICK | guitar
PADDY LE MERCIER | violin
ELLIE JAMISON | vocals
CLYDE KRAMMER | drums
KIBISINGO DOUGLAS | bass
AYODELE SCOTT | percussion