Jazz Afropop + Traditional gyil
Bells Atlas emerges from the vibrant cultural and musical backdrop of Oakland, CA. Combining heavy rhythm and groove, soulful vocal harmonies and a healthy dose of wildcard energy, this dynamic group has arrived at a sound that is undoubtedly their own. Primarily made up of 4 members with a musical chemistry that surprises and compliments, the sonic palette that makes up Bells Atlas is deep, cinematic and colorful. They capture the spirit of eclectic influences – soul, West African & Brazilian rhythm, noise pop & psychedelia, to name a few – and draw a wide audience with diverse tastes.
Sk. Kakraba was born in Saru, a small farming community in the northern region of Ghana, an area known for its many great xylophone players. He undertook traditional training in xylophone from a young age. When he was very young he was always listening to xylophonists play and he would grab the beaters and start to learn what he heard them play, especially when his family members were performing. When SK played something incorrectly, he was shown the right way. Most of his family are also gyil players, in addition to his uncle Kakraba Lobi, one of the first gyil players to tour, lecture and record internationally. Over time, he learned a large repertoire and became a working master of the instrument.
Our annual concert series is back! Enjoy a magical music experience this summer under towering redwoods in the Berkeley hills. Redwood Grove door opens at 5 pm, ticket includes Garden admission.