Bells Atlas + Sk. Kakraba

Jazz Afropop + Traditional gyil

July 20, 2017

Door at 5 pm | Show at 5:30 pm

$20 General  

$18 UCBG Member

$15 Youth (5 – 17)

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Bells Atlas

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.

In 2016, Bells Atlas joined WNYC’s Snap Judgement as their new touring house band, live-scoring 90 minutes of storytelling with original music. Touring with the program has taken them to countless beautiful, historic theaters across the country, playing for thousands of people. Look out for new show dates in a city near you for the upcoming 2017-2018 season!

On their own, the band has supported a number of international artists and shared the stage with acts such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Meshell Ndegeocello, W. Kamau Bell and more. You can find the band’s self-titled album, Hyperlust EP, covers and singles on Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud.

Artist Site

Sk. Kakraba

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.
The gyil is a Ghanaian xylophone made of 14 wooden slats strung across calabash gourd resonators.  The buzzy rattle emitted with each note comes from the silk walls of spiders’ egg sacs stretched across holes in the gourds, called paapieye in Lobi language. The gyil’s earthy sound can be heard in parts of Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and beyond, where it goes by other names.

Artist Site