With kind permission of Kazuo Yamasaki at Hiroshima University

The Baobab tree is sacred in western Nigeria. A striking feature of the African landscape with its distinctive, root-like branches, it bears a close resemblance to the Ceiba or silk-cotton tree found in Cuba. Both are venerated in the Afro-Cuban religion
Vocal Baobab began in 1994, receiving support from several prestigious experts on Cuban culture, especially the Yoruba Akpón (soloist) Lázaro Ros, with whose group Olorún Vocal Baobab's Director Ramon first sang. Regularly featured at some of Havana's most prestigious venues, including Sabado de Rumba at the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, they have made frequent appearances at festivals all over the island and were a major hit at the October 2000 Festival de Rumba in Havana. They were recently featured on Cuban television as one of the top folklore acts of 2000, as well as having received the commendation of numerous esteemed Cuban cultural authorities throughout their career.

International appearances include their recent tour to the 2002 New Zealand Festival where they were a major hit, playing to full houses and also attracting crowds in the Out & About Festival. They made their British debut Tour in April/May 2001, opening as support band for Cubanismo at the highly successful La Linea Festival at Londonís Royal Festival Hall, as well as Cambridge Corn Exchange. Touring countrywide throughout May, Vocal Baobab attracted further enthusiastic and appreciative audiences appearing at a range of Festivals, arts centres, clubs and community centres, culminating in an exhilarating sell-out show at Brightonís Komedia.

c JOANNA B PINNEO , Aurora & Quanta

c JOANNA B PINNEO , Aurora & Quanta
Previous international Festivals include the Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, USA in August 2000, where they also made a major impact,
playing to capacity audiences and rapturous acclaim: and extensive participation in the Cuban Cultural Week in Portugal in Spring 1998, including live radio sessions.
c JOANNA B PINNEO , Aurora & Quanta
Vocal Baobab and their music appear in Searching in my Dreams, the latest compelling film documentary by acclaimed Afro-Cuban Director and Producer Gloria Rolando, a great success when it premiered last year in Cuba and the USA. The group also took part in Rolandoís 1997 film video Eyes of the Rainbow about the Afro-American activist Assata Shakur. In this legendary documentary Vocal Baobab, alongside the Afro-American group Sweet Honey in the Rock and the blues singer Junius William, form the musical bridges that connect the Afro-Cuban and Afro-American cultures. A video Spirit of Cuba, directed by Charles Wood of Salsatap and filmed on location in the UK, is due for release in spring 2002 and a CD Sueño Yoruba, a collection of 11 Yoruban Chants, is available for licensing and distribution from 2002.
c JOANNA B PINNEO , Aurora & Quanta
Supported and Hosted by Last updated Friday, October 18, 2002