Heritage O.P. is a world beat percussion and vocal emsemble that fuses the rich cultural traditions and diasporal rhythms of Africa – from South America to the Caribbean – with African American tradition and modern musical trends. Their sound is contemporary with a strong beat and positive lyrics designed to uplift, inspire and move the listener to dance. They do this, however, using mostly traditional instruments as they share a deep respect for the beauty of acoustical sound and natural resonance. Hence the O.P. stands for organic percussion.
Heritage O.P. members include:
Hasan Bakr: a percussionist, singer and composer and has been performing most of his life. He is multi-instrumental, however he has chosen to focus on African and disporal percussion, from the djembe to shekere to mbira and more. Displaying a true gift as a vocalist as well, he has forged a sound that is integral to two of New York’s most popular percussion groups, “Spirit Ensemble” and “Heritage O.P.”. He has toured with several popular artisits including Snow, Thomas Mapfumo, The Winard Harper Sextet and Hasan Hakmoun.
Kevin Nathaniel: Trained musically in the ancient master-discipline tradition of the mbira and percussion. He has performed with master musicians from a variety of world cultural traditions. His work with the mbira and the shekere is extensive, earning him international recognition. Kevin has composed and recorded for several projects including Alice Walker’s “Possessing the Secret Of Joy” and the movie “Beloved”. His music is also available on the Narada Collection.
Ron McBee: Loves percussion. He has been performing, touring and studying for over 20 years. He is at home with most any musical style, however, his focus has been on percussion traditions of the African diaspora, for which Ron’s depth of knowledge moves fluidly from hambone, spoons and washboard playing, to drumming styles of the Caribbean and South America. Ron has toured with several popular artists including Sun Ra Arkestra and Hasan Hakmoun. A prolific composer for theatre and dance, Ron has composed and arranged the music for “Harriet’s Return” and the percussion arrangements for the New York, London and Los Angeles productions of “The Colored Museum”. He , along with Hasan Bakr and Victor Y. See Yuen, is a founder of Heritage O.P.
Victor Y. See Yuen: Hails from the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Immersed from childhood in the swinging Trinidadian rhythms, Victor has forged a sound of his own which sparkels in the hit song recordings he made for Arrow, Hot Hot Hot, and Byron Lee’s Tiney Winey. Victor plays a variety of percussion and melodic instruments including congas, bongos, mbira and the Vietnamese dant’rung. He has a passion for record producing and song writing. Amoung his many credits is the musical score for the 1998 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre premier of “Days Past, Not Forgotten” at City Center. Victor has recorded and toured with a long list of mega stars including legend Sonny Rollins, Kathleen Battle, Sarah Vaughn, Wynton Marsalis, Mos Def, Ron Carter, The Mighty Sparrow and Luther Vandross.
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