Groove – Episode #82: Bakithi Kumalo

Bakithi Kumalo

Seven words say it all: Legendary Grammy Award-winning bass player for Paul Simon. That is all you need to say, and you can hear the unique fretless groove bass sound of Bakithi Kumalo’s music in your brain. And it was no small journey to get there from BK’s native Soweto Township of Johannesburg, where he was surrounded by relatives and friends who loved music, while also being surrounded by apartheid.

Bakithi worked as a session musician in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s, but it’s hard not to anchor his enlistment into Paul Simon’s group during the recording sessions for what would become 1985’s Graceland album as a pivotal moment in his life (including his move to the United States). From there, Bakithi has recorded or toured with many of the biggest names in music. From Gloria Estefan and Josh Groban to the Grateful Dead, Herbie Hancock, and beyond.

It doesn’t stop there, Bakithi is also an accomplished solo artist with over five albums under his belt, including his newest, What You Hear Is What You See. His is legendary. Enjoy the conversation…

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  1. Awesome interview! I like that he emphasized having a good tone as being very important.