Black Water Gold is an Oakland-based Vintage World Funk & Afrobeat collective comprised of upwards of 14 veteran bay area musicians on a mission to explore grooves from around the world. Inspired by Nigerian Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti, Black Water Gold often performs its rhythmically intoxicating sets with legendary percussionist Friday Jumbo, co-founding member of Africa 70 and right-hand man to king of the Afrobeat rhythm, Tony Allen.
Further African influences abound. Black Water Gold sets include songs by Ethiopian Jazz pioneer Mulatu Astatke, Malian Afro-Latin Super Bamako Rail Band, Cameroonian Afro-Jazz hero Manu Dibango, Ghanaian highlife and funk guitarist Ebo Taylor. On the other side of the Atlantic, the music of Black Water Gold connects dots between New Orleans Afro-Funk icon Louis Villery, Dominican and Haitian Kompa and Rara grooves, Appalachia, Samba, and the Jazz Salsa of Eddie Palmieri.
Black Water Gold members themselves come from an array of cultural backgrounds including Iran, Palestine, China, Ecuador, and Chile as well as the musical hotbeds of New Orleans, The South and The Bay Area. The sound is big. The layers are many. The groove is authentic, refined, and deep. What else would you expect from original members of Vinyl, Limbomaniacs, Albino, Lagos Roots, and Africa 70 who have cut their teeth working alongside (selected list follows) Jerry Martini and Cynthia Robinson (Sly & The Family Stone), Ernest Ranglin, Bill Laswell (producer of Rockit, Herbie Hancock), Ziggaboo Modeliste (Meters), Mykal Rose (Black Uhuru), Andre Manga (Angelique Kidjo), Tommy Guerrero, and even Pete Seeger?