© Christofer Hästbacka
Baba Israel (beat poet)
Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre, exploring spoken word, hip hop and experimental performance. Baba began his career as an arts educator in Australia, and is a leading educator and consultant with organisations including Urban Word, BAM, Dubspot and the University of Madison. He has also worked as a cultural ambassador with the US State Department, and is co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company, bringing theatre to hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, theatres and festivals. He has toured across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. His debut album, Mind Music, was released on Velour records in 2001; this was followed by collaborative projects with Yako 440. From 2009 to 2012 Baba was artistic director and CEO of Contact Theatre in Manchester, creating flagship festivals, directing and producing touring productions, and focusing on innovative and diverse work. He is also a core member of the hip hop/soul project Soul Inscribed.