Kenya B Experience
Award-winning guitarist Kenya (Eric V.) Baker has been a touring musician for most of his life. For four years, he was lead guitarist for British singer/songwriter and Grammy Award winner Joss Stone, touring internationally and playing for dignitaries including President Clinton and the British Royal Family. He even played at the Princess Diana Memorial Concert in Wembley Stadium, which was attended by more than 63,000 people and broadcast worldwide.
Kenya grew up in Oakland, CA and began playing guitar at age 7. As a youngster, he played for services in his father’s church. At 16, he got his first gig touring throughout the US with a well-known gospel group, the East St. Louis Gospelettes.
At the early age of 19, Kenya was a part of the heyday of the Oakland R&B and Blues scene. During that time, he played with some of the most sought-after R&B musicians in the industry, including Sly Stone, Larry Graham, Frankie Beverly and Maze, The Whispers, and Tony! Toni! Tone!.
Next, Kenya began a career in music production. As a multi-talented musician, composer, and producer, he placed a number of songs with artists including New Edition, Somethin’ for the People and MJG & Eightball. Among his most notable achievements are: production and vocals on his original song “Top of the World,” featured on the “Menace II Society” soundtrack, his work on Tony! Toni! Tone!’s “The Revival,” for which he earned a platinum album, and his work on Tupac’s “So Many Tears.”
Beginning in the early 1990s and continuing into the next decade, he toured with Tony! Toni! Tone!, Lucy Pearl, Digital Underground and others. From 2006 to 2010 Kenya wrote songs and toured internationally with Joss Stone, playing for dignitaries and celebrities including Steve Martin, Bernie Mac, and Rickey Lee Jones.
In 2011, Kenya had a major change occur in his life. He gained custody of his two sons and could no longer tour. Kenya took an interest in Zydeco music, and briefly explored that genre by playing with a Bay Area band. Then, in 2012, he developed his solo “acoustic” show to perform locally at wineries, restaurants and lounges so he could be home with his children. Local musicians recognize Kenya’s talent and he is a sought-after musician for hire. In the last 18 months, Kenya’s played with many well-known artists including: saxophonist Kim Waters, at an event for Quincy Jones in Sacramento, rapper Too Short, R&B singers Ms. Monet, KeShay and K’Jon, up-and-coming indie band Shawn Brown and 9th Street, vocalist Ashling Cole, and others.
In 2013 Kenya formed his own band, “The Kenya B Experience” to play his favorite music – funk, R&B and soul. The concept behind The Kenya B Experience is simple: to bring the best local musicians together, playing the best music, to meet the clients’ needs. The “Experience” can be as small as a trio, or as big as a nine-piece show band. For the 2013 San Pablo July 4th Celebration, he brought his STAX Records review show, featuring three vocalists and a horn section in the nine-piece band and garnered rave reviews.