34 musicians / 3 bands / 2 choirs
Supporting Ghanian and South African education
June 2010 - June 2011
In June 2010, Joe Baker took basic versions of three American classic songs and field recorded African musicians offering musical contributions to each of the 3 songs.While on location, Baker then recorded the African musicians performing original native songs.
During the fall of 2010, American musicians were added to the three original songs as well as to the 9 new songs brought back from Africa, thus creating 12 extraordinary compositions from three different countries.
100% of all sales' profits will be split evenly between G.I.V.E.- an organization creating educational opportunities in Ghana, West Africa for primary and secondary school children and the NCD Foundation- a foundation on 26 campuses throughout South Africa that offers after-school safety, care, tutoring, dance, theater and music.
The Africa Project is the result of one person's vision to both record music in the field and network musicians from three countries to benefit the youth of Africa. It started in the fall of 2009 when Joe approached musicians whom he had befriended during the ten years he spent establishing the Bay Recorders Organization (BRO) which is a full-service, mobile audio recording and production company based in San Francisco, California, USA. BRO offers on-site recording, mastering, and duplication to fans and musicians. The premise of The Africa Project was to bring together American musicians to work both on common songs and their own original songs with musicians and their songs from Africa. Joe was able to use his field recording skills for what became a unique, globally influenced project.
Joe originally wanted to visit Africa to meet the people his brother Craig Powell had befriended during the 9 years he spent studying wildlife management in Ghana, West Africa. Spending so much time in this country led Craig to develop a deep personal connection to the children of Ghana and ultimately gave rise to a non-profit organization called G.I.V.E. (Ghana Initiate for Valued Education)
G.I.V.E. supports African education by providing scholarship opportunities to children of Ghana.
Through his music contacts, Joe was introduced to Irene Rademaker of Johannesburg, South Africa who connected him with her friend Tu Nokwe. Tu Nokwe was the daughter of the founder of...
the NCDF (Nokwe Creative Development Foundation), which led to the creation of the first performing arts center in South Africa, the Amajika Center.
There are now 26 of these centers, offering after-school tutoring, dance, theatre and music to the children of South Africa. Tu Nokwe appreciated the scope of the Africa Project and her crew made arrangements to hold a two-day music festival at one of the centers in Johannesburg. Seventeen bands and musicians from all over South Africa were scheduled to participate in the festival.
In June 2010 three songs were ready for additional touches by African musicians with whom Joe had booked recording sessions: (1)"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, (2) "I'll Fly Away" by Alfred E. Brumely and (3) "Hello To Me," an original song written and donated by Jordan Feinstein. All of the pre-arranged recording sessions were successful and a few spontaneous recording sessions were added, leading to the uniqueness and spirit of the project.
While in Africa, Joe recorded a total of 26 bands, 23 musicians and 6 choirs, most of who contributed on the three original songs.
Joe returned from his trip with eighteen new songs that were donated by the African musicians who had been recorded during the project. During the fall of 2010, American musicians were added to the three original songs as well as to the new songs brought back from Africa, creating extraordinary compositions from three different countries.