Acoustic jazz with a global view: African rhythms, talking drums, and fiddle music of Appalachia & the Sahara. Led by the "visionary jazz and world-music saxophonist" David Rogers (Hartford Courant), the band’s sound has been called “a fusion masterpiece.
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Biakuye performs original compositions and arrangements that draw on a wealth of American and African melodic percussion traditions including the Ugandan embaire and budongo, American marimba and vibraphone, and Ghanaian gyil. Mark Stone, an expert performer of global melodic percussion, formed Biakuye in 1993. The group has since spread its message of unity through numerous performances and educational events. The Biakuye Percussion Group includes master Ghanaian drummer Kofi Ameyaw, virtuoso American percussionist Roger Braun, and dynamic Senegalese bass player Issa Sall.
"This is unique and wonderful music. Bernard Woma plays the gyil, a close relative to the marimba used by the Dagara people of Ghana for funerals, ceremonies and other gatherings. When Stone and Ameyaw join him, the players work together seamlessly to create a wall of percussion. Woma and Stone show incredible virtuosity. This is a CD that should not be missed by anyone who is interested in African traditional music." -- Rambles.net
"With praises to a dozen genres and fealty to none, this quartet is creating an original vocabulary that endorses both jazz and folk as equal partners in their own musical nation." - Dirty Linen Magazine
"An original, yet somehow deeply rooted, musical sound. [They] have found the non-existent link between Appalachian string bands, Ghanaian percussion, downtown jazz and a host of other ideas that miraculously fit together as if they had the deepest of ethnomusical roots." -- CDRoots
David Rogers—tenor saxophone, lunna (talking drum)
Gerald Cleaver—drumset, percussion
Marion Hayden—acoustic bass
Mark Stone—vibraphone, conga, gungon, gyil (Dagara xylophone)
Derek Bermel—clarinet, gyil, lunna, clave
Southpaw Isle performs energetic arrangements of popular Christmas songs on Caribbean steel drums.