Afro Rock Rhythms With Ginger Baker, Drummer For Cream And Blind Faith

Ginger Baker blended rock, jazz and African rhythms to create his own unique style of drumming. Photo courtesy of

Ginger Baker is looked upon as one of the most unique drummers in rock music history.  Baker has been a part of several successful bands including the famous rock super trio, Cream, with bassist Jack Bruce and guitarist Eric Clapton, and the group Blind Faith, with Clapton and Steve Winwood.  What makes Baker so influential and unique as a rock drummer is his influences.  Baker considers himself a jazz drummer and was heavily influenced by jazz groups in Britain.  Then as Baker started playing more often in the rock music arena, he studied African drumming extensively and pulled those rhythms into his rock and jazz drumming.  This unique combination of rock, African, and jazz drumming led to Baker’s interesting rhythms.  I put together a few videos that celebrate Baker’s talent and musical variety for you here in this post.  I hope you enjoy the videos as much as I did!

Ginger Baker is seen in an exclusive interview where he talks about the various rudiments and rhythms he incorporates into his drumming.  Enjoy the video at

Along with Baker’s unique influences, he was widely known for his drum solos.  Baker performs one of his solos with the band, Blind Faith, in this next video at

Ginger Baker plays a rare jam with Afro-Rock musicians in this next video.  You can see in this video that Baker pulls so much of his rhythms from traditional African beats.  Check it out at

Lastly, I wanted to share a more recent performance that features Baker in a more traditional jazz setting.  He can be seen performing with bassist Charlie Haden and guitarist Bill Frisell at

Ginger Baker has influenced a long list of drummers in music history.  His vibrant and unique drumming style stands alone amongst some of the best rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s.  I hope you enjoyed the post because I had a fun time making it for you.



Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. rob bridges

    Hey Chris,

    I always look forward to hearing a drummer you’ve selected – am curious – are you interested in connecting with some solid djimbe players?


  2. Gerry

    Chris, Ginger was my hero for years. His stamina was amazing (some said drug induced). I saw him live in Madison Square Garden with Blind Faith. The stage revolved so you could see (but not really believe) that Ginger could do all that he did with only two hands and two feet. HIs jazz drumming is what still keeps me wanting more. Thank you Chris for that early clip of Ginger with a smoke explaining his rudiments, a classic.

  3. dave

    thank you, very much, very inspiring, i have a long way to go!! love the smooth jazz sounds.