• Baranta are a group of ethnically diverse musicians who teamed up to produce an exciting new percussive sound.
• They came together in 2002 when key members:
Sierra Leonean Francis Fuster - world renowned percussionist, (Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, Miriam Makeba, Manu Dibangu, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan and many others)
Kenyan Sultan Makendé - well known music producer, engineer and bassist, (Left Field, Judge Jules, Transglobal Underground, Hugh Masekela, Mose Fan Fan, Abdul TeeJay, Moreno Veloso and many others)
decided to put an Afro-Latin Jazz fusion band together.
• They have a unique sound in that they fuse traditional African drumming and chants, with Afro-Latin rhythms and Jazz improvisation.
• The band consist of 3 master percussionists, bass, guitar, keyboards, horns and vocals, (11 members)
• Francis was born in Sierra Leone in the 40’s and spent his early years as a professional musician honing his skills playing in hi-life and Afro-beat bands, throughout West Africa.
He was a major contributor to the musical genre “Afrobeat”, when he spent some time playing in “The Heartbeats” at the iconic Fela Kuti’s “Shrine” night (and day) club. He went on to play alongside many of the day’s top African artists thought Africa, culminating in Paul Simon’s seminal “Graceland” world tour in the eighties. After a spell in the USA where he worked with many world famous artists such as Chaka Khan, he decided to move to London and make it his base, where he met Sultan Makendé and started a lengthy period of collaboration on many successful projects.
As well as his involvement with Baranta, he has recently become a permanent member of Hugh Masekela’s touring band.
• Sultan Makendé was born in Kenya in the 50’s. He spent his teenage years jamming and working residencies in many of Nairobi’s nightclubs.
At the age of seventeen he got his first professional job playing in the resident band at the Nairobi Hilton. This was the first time that an “international” hotel like the Hilton, had decided to employ local musicians, who reflected the local culture, instead of the ubiquitous “imported” Italian orchestra.
After touring round many countries in Africa and the Middle East, he eventually settled in London, where he moved into recording and producing mostly ethnically diverse music. He has been a major contributor to the development of popular music in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.
He has also composed music for TV and film, which has been used in such major productions as Sex In The City, The In-laws (Michael Douglas), and various Discovery Channel documentaries.
• Baranta are now busy promoting their first album "Spirit Of Music".