A lot of things give me goosebumps – something scary can make me tense and tingly. If I’m wet – just got out of a pool and the wind blows – it can bring on the bumps. My favorite song or movie scene or a certain someone’s touch can send them shooting all over my arms. A meaningful moment can send them surfacing – like Tuesday when I saw Madonna’s show and sang “Like A Prayer” with her, eyes closed, arms in the air, something worth the 20 year wait it warranted. But tonight I got goosebumps because I witnessed something I’d never seen before – Baoku Moses not just playing drums, but sharing his story, not hiding his heart.
Baoku, a professional performing artist from Nigeria currently based in Cincinnatti, was featured for the UU Spirit of Life Coffeehouse. A cultural African and Afro-beat artist, what he played wasn’t just a performance, it was powerful. He not only entertained, but educated and exposed. He didn’t just put on a show, he showcased his soul. It was positive, it was passionate, it was peace.
Baoku doesn’t just drum the beat, he lives the lifestyle. He is the founder of Positive Image Arts, LLC – a multi cultural performing arts company that is established to promote cultural diversity. He mimicked that message, mingling with many musicians during his time. Uncle Eddie and Robin, Orland Carra, The Other Tribe, Grant Coleman, Devan Basil, Eric Ayres, Paula Weisal, Jessica Wrobleski and myself (I played a maraca – it counts!) all shared the stage with him as we made music together.
Baoku doesn’t just bang out some beats. He doesn’t just sit on a stool and hit drums with his hands. He doesn’t just make music, he is music. Seeing him tonight wasn’t a scary situation. It wasn’t cold – there was no wind, but I got goosebumps, because I didn’t just hear, I felt. I didn’t just witness, I was. We all were. We all are.