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Legendary Cream drummer Ginger Baker, famous for playing with Eric Clapton, coming to Stratford Circus

Ginger Baker Ginger Baker

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
5:25 PM

Legendary Ginger Baker may been hailed as rock’s first superstar drummer after rising to fame playing with Eric Clapton in Cream and Blind Faith.

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But after once being voted ‘the musician least likely to survive the 60s’ Ginger Baker is returning to the UK, after living abroad for many years,

with his new funk and jazz band.

Jazz Confusion is bringing together some of the world’s top musicians with on tenor sax Pee Wee Ellis, who used to play with the legendary James Brown, Ghanaian percussionist Abass Dodoo and on bass Mike Mondesir.

Baker will be swapping the world stage for Stratford Circus when he appears with the quartet on September 20.

But speaking to us ahead of their performance 74-year-old Baker said it doesn’t make any difference to him where he plays despite his legendary days with Cream.

Baker said: “It makes no difference, music is music, we enjoy playing and it doesn’t really matter where we play. As long as the place is pretty full we’re happy.

“We have just come back from playing in Serbia which was very rewarding. We have only had one bad night, which was in Gilford of all places where it was not even half full.

“I just play with people I enjoy playing with and by listening to people I’m playing with. I really enjoy playing with Abass, we push each other.”

Asked whether people are born with the ability to be a drummer or whether it is something you can be taught he said: “I just play, it’s a gift, you either got it or you don’t.

“I got into drumming by accident. I went to a party after a bicycle accident when I was about 15 or 16-years-old.

“There was a band playing and I got to play on the drum kit. That’s when everyone realised I was a drummer.

“I used to go to jazz clubs as a young kid, and used to bang on the desks at school and get all the kids dancing around.

“The drum is a drum, it’s the first instrument there ever was.”

But while many may associate Baker more with rock and blues than jazz Baker’s first recording in 1957 was actually with jazz musician Acker Blik so it may seem like he has come full circle.

Baker said: “I just try to move forward and develop my music.”

The band will be performing at Stratford Circus on September 20 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18. Visit www.stratford-circus.com or call 0844 357 2625.

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