Twice Grammy award winning Nigerian percussionist Lekan Babalola is well known for his innovative musical style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and funky dance overtones. Awarded his first Grammy in 2006 for performances on the late Ali Farka Toure’s album ‘In the Heart of the Moon’, he was awarded a second at the 49th Grammy awards in 2009 for his work as Associate Producer on the American jazz diva Cassandra Wilson’s album ‘Loverly’. World press has given him rave reviews for his percussive ‘wizardry’ and infectious grooves.
Lekan received a cultural and political apprenticeship from the late Fela Kuti and has since performed with the likes of Ernest Ranglin, Branford Marsalis, African Jazz All Stars, Roy Ayers, The Kate Luxmoore Group, David Byrne, Joshua Redman, Charles Lloyd, Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, The KLLB Band, Axelle Red, Pinse Saul, Queen Salawa Abeni and Jean Toussaint and is currently touring the world with Atomic Bomb Band.
Tonight he brings his dynamic band SACRED FUNK that bridges the gap between Afrobeat and jazz to the festival. Their reputation as a band that surprises its audience continues to grow.