Asha Nan


After Djialy Kunda Kouyate, Ken Lawrence, Tim Randles and I played with the African sabar player Bada Seck from Baba Maal's band. Bada's drummer was Mike Kimmel. Mike was in the process of re-forming a band that he had had with his 2 older daughters in New York. The material was from 2 albums that they had recorded there, and it was a cool combination of funk and tribal music. Mike's wife Yemeya is the lead singer. When I first joined the band, it was chaotic to say the least, but with regular rehearsals, the band started to build.

     I played with Asha Nan for about 3 years, concurrent with Kingfoot and The Northcoasters. Tim Randles from Djialy Kunda Kouyate and the Northcoasters was also in the band during some of that time. Greg Stokes came in on bass, Jeff Thomas and Colleen Robinson became the backup singers. There were other singers and percussionists that performed with us for The Summer Arts Festival performances; Amdi Hamilton (Watts Prophet and the guy accredited with inventing the term "Rap Music"), Juma Sultan (from Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys), James Harris (from True Gospel Singers and The Nu Heavenly Tone Singers), Lorenza Simmons and V Molofsky.

      As I had done in just about every band I had been in, I offered to produce an album for Asha Nan at a time when I felt the band was tight enough to pull it off. My intention was to capture the rhythm tracks that were the tightest, and then, through the recording process, help arrange the vocals that had never really been arranged and were very haphazard at that time. Long story short, that didn't happen and I left the band shortly after. I am still friendly with the band. They

have also recorded an album at my studio, Bongo Boy with new band members. I have played a number of gigs with them since,from time to time. Mike, who also played on my Ska Santas album, recently came in to play djembe on "Long Time Friend" from my "Bad Case of the Blues" album.