TAKE drums, percussion, voices and add the musical rhythms of Afro-Cuban and African music and what have you got?
The answer is brand new six- piece ensemble Big Bad Bata, which plays its first major gig tomorrow on home turf here in Huddersfield. Expect music that will make you want to sing, to dance or possibly both.
Familiar names behind this new ensemble include Jenny Goodman, who has more than 15 years’ experience of leading voice and song workshops and a cappella singing groups. Her day job is as head of outreach and education at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
She’s teamed up with Maggie O’Keefe, who is well versed in samba bands as well as singing, and Eilon Morris who is studying for an MA at Huddersfield University.
Add to that the musical talents of Sheffield-based Helen Lyle and music technology student Patrick French and you have some idea what is in store at Bar 1:22 in New Street tomorrow at 8pm.
“We were talking about running a group for other people that involved singing, rhythm and movement,” said Jenny. “And then we thought: ‘Why are we think about doing this for other people. Why don’t we do this ourselves?’ ”
The result is a group of people who are strong in drumming and in voice. And there is a powerful leaning towards the music of Africa, of Cuba and of contemporary composers.
The group takes its name from Bata drums, a family of three drums used as ceremonial instruments in Cuba but are rooted in Nigeria.
Over that base they layer songs from around the world, including Samoa.
The band will be supported by guitarist Graham Garside, who will be playing with a tabla player.