Together they play hip, progressive jazz originals in-a-Thelonious-
Ginger Baker’s recognition as a drummer began during the Graham Bond Organization in the early sixties. The band toured with The Who, The Troggs, The Moody Blues and Chuck Berry, attracting press interest for their outrageous behavior and riotous fun. In 1964, Baker was considered "one of Britain’s great drummers" by Melody Maker journalist, Chris Welch.
Baker, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992, Modern Drummer Hall Of Fame in 2010 and Classic Drummer Hall Of Fame in 2011 and whose awards include a 2005 Grammy® Life Time Achievement Award and a 2008 Zildjian Top Drummer Award, was also impressing music journalists. He also attracted attention from many musicians, one of them being Eric Clapton. The two met, jammed, saw one another play in their then-current bands, added bass player Jack Bruce and formed Cream. In Baker’s own words, they created "instant magic" and began touring earning £45 per show and later smashing box office records previously set by The Beatles.
After Cream, came Blind Faith. Baker and Clapton were joined by Steve Winwood and Rick Grech to make just one album. When Clapton and Winwood left to further their own projects, the remaining members went on to form a jazz rock fusion band known as ‘Ginger Baker’s Airforce,’ adding sax, flute, organ and extra percussion to the band.
During a trip to Africa, Baker found himself moved and inspired and fascinated by Nigerian radio and by his friendship with and the music of Fela Kuti. Despite the war zones in that country, he was adamant about visiting Nigeria and pushed to set up a 16-track mobile recording studio in Lagos. When it opened as ‘Batakota Studios,’ Paul McCartney arrived with Wings to record part of his Band on the Run album. Music aside, Africa gave Baker a wonderful climate to live in and a healthier lifestyle than that of rock 'n roll and touring. He also discovered his love for polo and rally driving.
Baker’s work with Airforce and his friendship with Fela Kuti paved the way for Baker’s next musical project--to work with African musicians. A very funky live album was recorded in Abbey Road Studios under the name of Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa '70 with Ginger Baker.
He then went on to form the English rock group The Baker Gurvitz Army, in which Baker was also involved with providing extra sounds for their debut album. The wheel spins from his Jensen FF were used for their song "Mad Jack." He also rode a wheeled swivel chair backwards down a flight of stairs for a second track on their debut album. After setting up a second recording studio, this time in North London, Baker formed Energy. Since then, he’s performed at various live events such as Verona’s Percussion Summit and his own unmissable 70th birthday party with special guest, Steve Winwood at Camden’s Jazz Café.
Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion debuted in April 2012 at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London and followed with performances throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and in Tokyo, Japan. Now they are heading to the United States.
June 2014 Tour
Sat - Sun, 14+15 Yoshi's, San Francisco CA
Tue 17 City Winery, Napa Valley CA
Wed 18 The Dakota, Minneapolis MN
Thu 19 Turner's Ballroom, Milwaukee WI
Sat 21 Magic Bag, Detroit MI
Mon 23 City Winery, Chicago IL
Wed - Thu 25+26 BB King's NYC
Fri 27 Howard Theater, Washington DC
Sat 28 Havana, New Hope PA
Sun 29 Wilbur, Boston MA
Mon 30 Montreal Jazz Festival