Yaaba FUNK

In Association with Shades of Soul Ltd

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Thursday 25 th October 2018

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Yaaba Funk, is an intoxicating blend of Ghanaian Hi-Life, deep funk and Sun Ra jazz with splashes of desert blues and dub. With two albums on the renowned Sterns music label and a reputation as one of the hottest live bands in London this is a chance to see Yaaba Funk’s debut  at PizzaExpress.


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“Trying not to dance is like trying to eat gum without chewing.”

Catch a Vibe

Yaaba Funk have toured the world  bringing their deep, high energy Afro grooves to audiences from Zanzibar to Lisbon to Peckham. Fronted by the highly engaging duo of Richmond (Chief Commander Yaaba) Kessie and Helen (Lady Yaaba) McDonald, this “16 legged groove machine” is far more than generic Afrobeat. 

The band's self-produced first album 'Afrobeast' was released by Sterns in 2010. Their 2014 release “My Vote Dey Count” saw the band develop and deepen their sound with collaborations from some of London's finest musicians: Jason Yarde (baritone and soprano sax, Robin Hopcraft (trumpet), Idris Rahman (tenor saxophone), Nick Ramm and Jesse Hackett (keyboards). 

Vote Dey Count' album reviews:

“Brilliantly crafted, inspired and original, this take on the Afro thing is a far cry from the plethora of sub-Fela outfits that seem to be cropping up these days.” Patrick Forge

“a remarkable, shining record”  Matti Poels, Music Frames blog, Holland

“..a band at the athletic peak of their powers.” Howard Male, Independent on Sunday. 

“majestic sound...Infectious rhythms that allows no escape...” Emrys Baird, Blues and Soul magazine.

Band Lineup

Richmond Kessie (vocals)
Helen McDonald (vocals)
Thibaut Remy (guitar)
Paul Brett (bass synthesizer)
Clive Wales (percussion)
Daniel Howard (drums)
Robin Hopcraft (trumpet)
Linus Bewley (tenor saxophone)