Yaaba Funk: Bringing the funk to Millman Street

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On the sunny afternoon of July 1st at Millman Street Community Centre, summer truly arrived in the form of Yaaba Funk.

An African band formed in Brixton in 2006, its band members had studied African music and also DJayed together at parties and venues on the London African music scene.

The name Yaaba Funk comes from an album called Yaaba Funk Roots and the music is a mixture of afro-beats with some traditional melodies, broken beats/funk, a sharp rhythm section, horns, powerful bass lines and dynamic guitars.
The band also lead music workshops for people of all ages.

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After a few pulsating songs, the Millman Street audience were invited to participate, with Gloria and James playing shakers and rattles at the front with the band.
Ann, who had a front row seat and got to play one of the drums, said “When you’re old, you just want to go out and enjoy yourself.. I really enjoyed it” and Marie, who also played a drum and some bells, said “They were lovely! I’d play anything given the chance, I have music in the blood!”

As the room bounced with the electricity of the music and the sun streamed through the windows, it put one in mind of a sunny beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Ivor said “I thought the lady’s voice was vibrant and her personality really came through when she sang. It was beautiful.”

As the music drew to a close, we settled down to teas, orange squash and cakes. You could still see heads nodding and many a foot tapping.

Written by Remi Price

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