Banda Bacana play groove and rhythm driven tunes from South America, the Caribbean and Africa. Our influences are diverse but we are all into world music and watching and playing live music especially dance music.
Nigerian born vocalist Loulou leads the vocals with Ceri, who mixes strong samba influences with a musical background of celtic folk, and guitarist Kate, another samba baby, who plays guitar with percussion roots. Drum kit player Owen, AKA Groove Farmer, creates a fertile blend of unstoppable beats: Record shop owner, promoter and wealth of musical knowledge influences from Blues to Rock Steady, High-life to Klesma. Founder member John, the daddy of Bacana, cuts solid bass lines; latin, afro-beat, reggae and ska: Another gold mine of information about all things funky from around the world and beyond …
Most of us have got day jobs but we are lucky enough to have Jochen as a regular player who is a jazz musician and composer. We’ve also had younger members, Chris and Kate, who have come from the North Wales Youth Jazz Band. Chris left us to study classical music in London and Kate went a year later to study Jazz at Leeds. They come and play with us sometimes in the holidays and its really cool to hear them play again. Einion and Ray both local jazz players from North Wales play with us occasionally. The line up is pretty flexible with Jeff joining us from the North Sea when they let him out for good behaviour, and when Neil does the PA he’ll also dust off his trumpet, a real treat!
The band plays groove based music from a variety of cultures. It can take in funky Afrobeat, or Latin American influences, with the emphasis on getting up, dancing & having fun.
Latin music is kind of like jazz in that there are standard tunes. When we are getting a tune together we would pick up the groove from a record and a chorus line and a sax riff and then play around with it. The rhythm sections would be working getting a solid groove going while the horns and vocals would pull a song stucture together. We try and go for what feels natural for us … less risky!
Si se puede is one of the favourite tunes. Its a tune by a New York afro beat band Antibalas. When the different parts lock together rhythmically, the groove is hypnotic but really swings at the same time. Our audience really go for the ska ones like pipeline. People like something familiar they can key into, especially when they’re out for a dance, and ska tunes are a real strong influence on north wales bands.