BAND MEMBERS

BARAKA BIOGRAPHY

Baraka is a unique combination of musicians from Ghana, Senegal, Trinidad, Dominica and Ireland. Each musician contributes his individual sound and style - Reggae featuring a Kora and Djembe, Township with a Calypso bassline, Hilife with Blues Harmonica, Soca with Balafon and Flute. Baraka features musical collaborations that you are unlikely to hear with any other band, and is also unique in being one of the few bands to have African and Caribbean musicians working together. The result is a heady mix of global beats, intricate rhythms and soaring melodies.

Rowan is an in demand session trumpeter working in Bristol and London. An innovative improviser, he has played in a huge range of projects including Latin Flamenco band Fernando’s Kitchen, Tunday Akintan’s Yorubeat allstars and touring with Gifford’s Circus.

Ben from Ghana is a well known figure in the world of drum and dance, having been one of it’s first exponents in the UK. He is also an in-demand session player, having guested with artists as diverse as Vangellis, Nick Turner, Peter Gabriel and most recently Temple Of Sound. Ben is also noted for his Drum and Dance Workshops, which he has delivered not only at festivals around the world, but also in schools and colleges throughout the UK. A solo drum track that he recorded for the Womad Talking Book CD is now part of the UK Schools curriculum.

Royston is from the Commonwealth of Dominica. His early experiences with music included hanging out with Led Zeppelin when they used his band’s rehearsal room on the island. Having toured extensively, playing in some of the top Soca and Reggae bands in the Caribbean, he moved to the UK to develop and expand his style.

Chris was also born in Ghana and studied at Goldsmiths College and Guildhall School of Music and drama. He was principle guitarist for Herbie Flowers Rock School, Lambeth music, founded Marlborough college Rock school course. Played in West End productions of Grease and Soul Train. Other shows include Fiddler on the Roof, Nat King Cole story, Up Against the Wall. He has toured with Osibisa, Courtney Pine, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and many more, and brings the authentic sound of African guitar to Baraka.

Born in Trinidad, Tony brings the authentic feel of West Indian rhythms to the band. He toured the Carribean playing with a number of high profile Soca and Calypso acts before moving to the UK. He has successfully adapted his style to include African rhythms, and his combination of these styles gives Baraka its driving edge.

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