Keith has been a musician all his life. His early musical interests began with piano, playing by age 6 and composing at age 13. Playing drums and percussion, Keith started playing professionally at local clubs and concerts with rock and roll bands Salish, Cold Sweat and Holy Smoke, with whom he toured across Canada and into the U.S. Keith performed with Holy Smoke at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum in 1974, opening for T-Rex and Blue Oyster Cult. At age 24 Keith left Victoria, B.C. and moved to Los Angeles to play with Nick Gilder (Hot Child in the City). It would be four years before he returned home to the West Coast of Vancouver Island, where he developed his other interests of architectural design, music production and recording.
Keith’s musical focus shifted and evolved from his early professional playing to a more organic and holistic approach. It came through his engagement with nature and the realization of the rich and complex percussive quality of the natural environment around him. Keith’s interests were further peaked as he began collecting a variety of authentic world instruments. It was now possible to create music through a coming together of players, diverse instruments and natural percussive sounds. The Tumbara project became a turning point for Keith’s musical expression and an opportunity for him to create the music he felt needed to be born.
Writing, recording and producing music has now become Keith’s ardor along with his many other interests, design, woodworking, healing and family. Many may also know Keith Baker from his world famous photograph ‘Playtime’ featuring his then one-year-old son playing the drums. Keith celebrates life’s blessings everyday and for him music has been a gift of healing and wholeness.
Sky’s journey in music began as a young child, singing with his 3rd grade choir and later playing and studying piano at The Regina Conservatory of Music. It was during those early years that Sky came to understand the healing power of the voice and music.
While playing the local R&B scene in Calgary, Sky made a connection to a saxophone player, who would mentor him for many years and lead him to the West Coast and Victoria. There they formed a trio named Gia, playing everything from blues to original folk compositions. It was also around this time that Sky expanded his collection of keyboards and built his home studio that he still works in today.
Sky is a multi-instrumentalist, playing flutes, saxophone, guitar, mandolin, clarinet, keyboards, bass and drums. He composes and records his own music. He has played with many bands, including Ogedebe’ & the Ihala Drummers, Braindancers, New Moon, Georgia Street Blues Band, Mother Blooze, Zink Gizmo and The Casey Marshal Band. It was through a synergistic meeting with Keith Baker that Sky came to be involved with Tumbara. The connection was instant and writing together became natural and expansive. With his free flowing ethereal flute sounds, Sky’s playing added an ephemeral and spacious feeling to Tumbara’s sound.
Along with his involvement with Tumbara, Sky is the bassist and musical director of a new project with the working title ‘Cornucopia’. He continues to develop his ambient music sound scapes, while recording and writing an album of ‘Earth’ songs. His passions include being a papa, friend and guardian to his daughter as well as being a visual artist, working in watercolor, pottery and graphic arts.
Laurie first heard the earthy haunting sound of the didg in 1998 while listening to Graham Wiggins play on Outback’s album Baka. Being a self professed “gear head” and an inventor of unusual mechanical devices and instruments, Laurie went about building his own didgeridoo out of ABS plastic pipe. A week later he was getting the first tentative sounds out of it. He has been developing his playing ever since.
Upon joining Tumbara Laurie introduced his varied didg sound through his uniquely crafted instrument. Two pieces of ABS pipe that can slide inside each other allow for Laurie to tune his didg, matching the pitch of the other instruments. The sound is ancient and primal, adding a driving rhythm to the organic grooves.
Laurie also shares his passion for the didg by doing volunteer music at a special needs school. Children respond to the low level vibration of the instrument and even those with little or no hearing can experience and feel the rhythm, enjoying music as a healing art. It was the potential for the healing aspect of this instrument that became a lead focus in the direction of Tumbara’s music.
Laurie continues to play the didgeridoo, while studying African drumming and enjoying his hobby of building a scaled down, coal fired steam locomotive, which he hopes he’ll be able to complete in his lifetime.
Bob, born and raised in Victoria, enjoyed the musical atmosphere of having a mother who performed in dance bands and taught piano from her home.
After studying clarinet, piano and percussion in his school years, Bob followed his brother Rick Brown, a professional drummer, to Edmonton where he pursued music full time. Two years later, and yearning for the West Coast, Bob moved back to Victoria where he joined up with Bill Sample and bass player Tim Stacey to play the local scene. By the mid seventies he began in earnest to study jazz drumming influenced by drummers like Art Blakey, Roy Haynes and Ed Thigpen. Over the next 10 years Bob continued to play locally with regular gigs, first with Dave Keen’s group and then with Wally Eurchuk’s band.
Bob also attended the Port Townsend Jazz Workshops where he studied jazz drumming under Jeff Hamilton. He has also been called on to perform with such jazz greats as Paul Horn and Art Pepper as well as well known local musicians including Louis Rose, Roy Reynolds, Karel Roessingh, Rob Cheramey, Hugh Fraser and Jerry Bryant. More recently, Bob has been collaborating with the percussion ensemble Tumbara and continuing his life long interest in Jazz by freelancing at local venues.[ Top ]