Boubakiki is a duo of saxophone (Joe Steele) and handpan (Rosie Bergonzi) formed in 2017. For their unusual combination of instruments, Joe and Rosie mostly play material which they have devised themselves through improvisation and collaborative composition.
Utilising the full colour palette of their unique soundworld, Boubakiki create highly varied music: from atmospheric, serene textures to upbeat earworms, drawing influence from classical, jazz, folk and non-Western musical traditions. Boubakiki are passionate about bringing music to everyone and therefore see workshops and participatory concerts as an essential part of their practice.
Joe Steele is a composer, saxophonist and music leader based in London. He holds a BA in Music from the University of York, awarded with first-class honours, and an MA in Opera Making & Writing (Composition) from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, awarded with Distinction. As a composer Joe’s music often explores the intersection of music and drama and has performed in leading venues such as St. John’s, Smith Square, Saffron Hall and the Bridewell Theatre (Blackfriars), and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. His comic chamber opera, WATCH ME (2016), written as part of his MA, was described as being “Wonderful: like a humorous dream.” (The Times). Having completed a year-long traineeship in music leading with Spitalfields Music from 2016-17, Joe is now highly active in the field of community music, working regularly with the English National Opera Baylis programme, and has previously worked on projects with the London Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Rosie Bergonzi is a graduate of The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, having completed her masters in Advanced Instrumental Study in 2016 and being awarded a Fellowship in Percussion until 2017. She studied at Goldsmiths, University of London for her BMus, awarded in 2014 with First Class Honours. Her studies were generously funded by the Nick Jack Award and the Hilda Martindale Foundation. She is now an active musician with notable performances. Rosie is a founding member the all-female percussion quartet Beaten Track Ensemble.
In addition to performing, Rosie is passionate about creating music in community settings. She leads and facilitates workshops including collaborative song-writing and devised instrumental pieces and presenting sharings. She has recently worked with English National Opera, Spitalfields Music, Wigmore Hall and the Chineke! Foundation to deliver music sessions to groups across the UK.
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