Legendary keyboardist, funk pioneer and Talking Heads alumnus
Sep 22 09:45 PM
Small World Music Stage presented by Exodus Travels
Wally Badarou was born in Paris, where his physician parents were educated and his father later served as ambassador from their West African homeland of Cotonon Benin (formerly Dahomey). Although he planned a career as a pilot, he was seduced by synthesizers and rock & roll, eventually becoming a well-known session keyboardist in England and his own Nassau, Bahamas, studio. Badarou's early career included work with M (on the hit "Pop Music"), Joe Cocker, Herbie Hancock, and Island Records artists like Grace Jones, Black Uhuru, and the British funk band Level 42. In addition to his production and keyboard work for Level 42, he has done several film scores, most notably Kiss of the Spider Woman. You can hear both the rhythmic sensitivity of his African heritage and the harmonic sensibility of his classical training in his music. His expressive and sophisticated synthesizer textures are full of life, especially on his more dance-oriented Echoes album. In the nineties he released two albums, 1991's Chief Inspector and 1997's So Why.
Awards include: "Senghor de la Musique Africaine", "Lion d'Or de la Musique Africaine". "Kora du Meilleur Arrangeur Africain" (Best Arranger for Salif Keita's "Folon") "Grand Prix Académie Charles Cros" (for Salif Keita's "Folon" ) "Victoire de la Musique" (for I Muvrini's "Umani")
In 2009 saw a progressive online release of "The Unnamed Trilogy" by Badarou, after 20 year gathering and nurturing starters in three distinct genres: neo-classical, urban and African.