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Baba Israel


Baba Israel was raised in New York by parents who were core members of the Living Theatre. He developed as a young artist exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets cafe workin with artists such as Akim the Funk Buddah. 


He next lived and worked in Australia working on community theatre projects, festivals and co-founded Meta Bass 'n' Breath, an infamous and theatrical Hip Hop band.


During his time in Australia he received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to produce and perform the Hip Hop Theatre production “The Bridge” which was performed in non-traditional venues and toured to juvenile detention centers.


He began his career as an arts educator in Australia and has gone on to be a leading educator and consultant working with organisations such as Urban Word, BAM, and the University of Madison. He has also worked as a cultural ambassador with the State Department delivering workshops and performances across South East Asia, the south Pacific, and in Gambia and Turkey.


As a musician, he has released a number of albums and collaborations with artists such as DJ Logic, Ming and FS, Zion I, Invincible, DJ Kiva, P-Money and long time collaborator Yako 440.


He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company who bring theatre to hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, as well as theatres and festivals. The company recently developed projects to support immigrant communities in Long Island in a series of performances and workshops funded by the Hagedorn Foundation.


As a theatre and Hip Hop artist He has toured across the US, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia, performing with artists such as Outkast, Philip Glass, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, KRS ONE, and Vernon Reid.


His debut solo show Boom Bap Meditations was supported by the Ford Foundation and The Hip Hop Theatre Festival which toured the US and Europe. He has worked on sound design for theatre and dance projects with Renita Martin’s It is the Seeing and Rha Goddess’s Meditations with the Goddess. He was also a featured performer in Full Circle's Soular Powered at the New Victory Theatre. 


He is a long-time collaborator with Jason Lindner and has toured with Jason's project Now vs Now and was featured on their debut album produced by Meshell Ndegeocello and mixed by Bob Power.


He was AD/CEO of Contact Theatre in Manchester from 2009- 2012. Contact is a leading international organisation at the intersection of the arts and youth leadership. During his tenure, he created flagship festivals, directed and produced touring productions, and programmed seasons that focused on innovative and diverse work.


He was a resident artist with Yako 440 at BRIC in 2016, where as part of the Fireworks Residency they co-created The Spinning Wheel in collaboration with UK Based theatre-makers Unfinished Business.  


He is also a core member of Hip Hop/Soul project Soul Inscribed who were selected as part of the American Music Abroad program and toured Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Mauritius in 2016. 


He is the Co-Artistic Director of the Performance Project based at the University Settlement and Curator of Performance for HI-ARTS.


He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary arts from Goddard in the United States.

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