This is an archive of the band profile for Bassa Bassa.
Leeds big band Bassa Bassa, described as "merchants of musical mayhem", have been around since 1987. In that time over 80 musicians have passed through the ranks of the band's brass and sax frontline with full rhythm section.
Varying between 9 and 22 members the band has appeared at Glastonbury and WOMAD, made trips to France, Ireland and the Czech Republic and featured in numerous festivals around the UK. They have often brought their commitment to benefits and demonstrations for causes ranging from Drop the Debt back to the days of Anti-Apartheid, Nicaraguan Solidarity and the Poll Tax.
Founded in 1987, the band caught the rising wave of World Music, but have never been easy to pigeonhole. Strong jazz foundations blend with blasts of ska, latin, african, and funk - always with a colourful and energetic stage presence of musicians who are obviously enjoying themselves.
The band is a loose collective centred around the longer-term members. Bassa Bassa has made a big contribution to Leeds' vibrant musical life since the late 1980s. With three recordings under their belt (the first back in the late 80s with support from fellow Leeds band Chumbawamba) the band seem happy to keep rolling into the future.
And the name? "Somebody once assured us that it means pandemonium in West Africa. We since found out that it's also the name of a cooking sauce in the West Indies, a dust-up in Barbados, a township in Louisiana, a minority people in Liberia, the Latin name for a gannet, not to mention the British Airlines Steward and Stewardesses Association, it's whatever you want it to be...".