Hackney drumming tribute to Cream's Ginger Baker

Abass Dodoo and Ginger Baker drumming together in the Cotton Club in Japan. 

Abass Dodoo and Ginger Baker drumming together in the Cotton Club in Japan. - Credit: One-Drum Foundation

A Hackney drummer is hosting a tribute to his late friend and legendary drummer Ginger Baker, who once played with guitarist Eric Clapton in the British rock band Cream. 

Master African drummer Abass Dodoo, who is based in Hackney, became a close friend and collaborated musically with Baker for the last 12 years of his life.

The pair performed together on stages around the world. 

Abass Dodoo and Hackney's One-Drum Foundation, along with Ginger Baker’s widow Kudzai Baker, will celebrate Ginger's life at the Hackney Empire show called Festival of Highlife.

Hackney drummer Abass Dodoo is paying tribute to legendary drummer Ginger Baker at Hackney Empire. 

Hackney drummer Abass Dodoo is paying tribute to legendary drummer Ginger Baker at Hackney Empire. - Credit: One-Drum Foundation

Dodoo said: “Music lovers will discover ancient African drumming rhythms infused with Jazz and Afrobeat in memory of Ginger.


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“We will showcase the creativity and artistry of next-generation master African drummers and young musicians influenced by Ginger Baker’s afro-jazz polyrhythmic innovation."

The Ginger Baker memorial charity celebration will take place at Hackney Empire on October 7. 

The pair performed together on stages around the world. 

The pair performed together on stages around the world. - Credit: One-Drum Foundation

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Ginger Baker rose to fame playing with guitarist Eric Clapton in the British rock band Cream in the 1960s. 

He passed away on October 6, 2019, at the age of 80.

Nicknamed Ginger because of his flaming red hair, Baker is remembered as “rock's first superstar drummer" who pioneered jazz fusion and world music. 

His unique drumming style melded jazz and African rhythms. 

Dodoo adds that he will be joined on stage by guest musicians who played with Ginger over the years. 

"The show will be a celebration of a rich tapestry of musical talent representing Ginger Baker's love of musical diversity and inclusivity," he said. 

Dodoo established the charity One-Drum Foundation in 2019 with its patron Ginger, shortly before the Cream drummer passed away.  

Its flagship project, supported by the Arts Council, offers free African drumming workshops and performance opportunities to young people at risk of involvement in gangs and knife crime. 

Children and young people who have attended One-Drum Foundation projects and workshops with Ginger and Dodoo will perform at the Hackney Empire show. 

Grand Union Youth Orchestra led by Joshua Brandler in conjunction with Creative Director Tony Haynes, and the East London Young Cellists led by Classical Concert Cellist Mika Agnieszka Maria will also be part of the diverse line-up of talent.

Find out more about One-Drum Foundation at www.one-drum.org/charity

To book tickets, visit https://hackneyempire.co.uk/whats-on/festival-of-highlife-its-in-the-drums/



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