Print October 15, 2013

Kofi Baker: In the Hands of a Son, the Spirit of Cream Beats On

by Alex Graff

Kofi Baker's Cream Experience will take ST94 by storm on Saturday, Sept. 8.Cream’s radiant spirit burns bright as their torch is carried to Greeley in the drumstick wielding hands of their own flesh and blood. Kofi Baker’s Cream Experience will be coming to town at The Moxi Theater on October 18th and it promises to be a show to remember. Kofi Baker, son of legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker, spoke to the idea of keeping the Cream tradition alive. “The whole reason I do it is because I thought the concept of what Cream was doing was so cool. They were taking the jazz side of my dad and Jack and blending it with the blues side of Eric Clapton and improvising out of that genre.” But this isn’t a cover band by any means. Kofi believes in his band making the songs their own when they preform. “We take in the essence of the music and play it our own way. It’s a non Cream tribute band. We don’t dress up looking like cream, we don’t try to act like Cream, we don’t even try to play like cream. We play the Cream songs our own way.”

Drumming has been the focus of Kofi’s life from a very young age, as his father taught him for years before other esteemed musicians help hone his skills on the drum set. This father-son musical exchange proved to be the only lines of communication Ginger would ever forge with his son. This topic is greatly discussed in the documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, showing at the Moxi on October 17th. Speaking in regard to the role drumming played in his relationship with his father, Kofi said “It’s probably the only dialogue we’ve ever had. I’ve never had any kind of relationship with my dad, and I still don’t.” In spite of this distance, Kofi has grown close to and through two main relationships in his formative years, that with his mother and his drums. He has forged the closest of relationships with his mom, as she has been a wonderfully loving and nurturing presence in his life. The two simply and truly love each other. And in terms of drums, the effects are transcendental. “(Drumming) has given me a goal, a never ending goal to my life. You’re never ever going to learn everything there is to learn so it’s a constant learning thing. Its like I tell my students, I say “Look, don’t get frustrated when you learn something new, that’s a great thing. You’re learning something new which means your challenging yourself. What is more important the destination or the journey? The journey.” When speaking to music as a whole and how it’s benefited his life, Kofi remarked, “It’s given me the freedom to express myself…It allows me to really be in touch with my soul.”

kofi baker 2Kofi’s perspective supersedes the boundaries of music. He is also a man who advocates social change. “We need to embrace our differences and communications. If we can do that and become one species, I’ll be happy.” Indeed, Kofi’s philosophy of how to live life is deeply wise and fraught with the simple truths that must guide our every breath. ”Take every day as a blessing. Live everyday to the fullest. Look around at what we’re blessed with, look at everything we have, we have so much to live for. As long as we can feel, we’re alive. We have to have ups to have downs; you have to have downs to make sure your up. Take everything and embrace it for the feeling it is.” So come out and embrace the spirit of Cream alive and in bloom at The Moxi. Feel the primal rhythms echoing from a place deeper than a drum set, but from the center of a man’s soul. And I can promise you it’ll be a show of sincere artistry and meaning, as every show Kofi plays is from the heart. “I don’t care if there are 3 people in the audience or 3,000 in the audience, it’s the same for me…I’m still feeding off the energy of the people there.” So join us and be the energy that accentuates the brightly burning flame that is the spirit of Cream.

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