Documentary spotlights Bay Area jazz great Baba Wain

‘Baba Wain: A Musical Note in the Key of Beauty with E. W. Wainwright,” a 30-minute special about the beloved Oakland jazz drummer and teacher, airs a 8 p.m. Friday on KRCB-TV, Channel 22, Cotati-Rohnert Park.

The film, produced by Emmy Award winner Rick Bacigalupi, follows the musician, known as “Baba Wain” to his students, through a day of music instruction and counseling at the elementary school where he ?also directs the drum team.

In the documentary, Wainwright also shares his memories of the early days of the civil rights movement.

Wainwright’s first major tour was as a sideman with Bob Hope’s Far East Tour in 1968.

He also performed with the comedian Redd Foxx and served as Oscar Brown Jr.’s band leader in 1969.

In early 1970, Wainwright moved to the Bay Area where he performed with Jerry Garcia, Merl Saunders and Earl “Father” Hines.

In the mid-1970s, Wainwright moved to New York, where he performed and toured with jazz greats McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders and others.

At the prestigious Carnegie Hall, he played alongside Rahsaan Roland Kirk and McCoy Tyner. He has worked locally with such notables as Bobby Hutcherson, John Handy and Joe Henderson.

Since 1981, Wainwright has been a prominent music consultant and well known for his volunteer work in the Bay Area.

You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or On Twitter @danarts.

Dan Taylor

Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat

Do you take fun seriously? I know I do. Tell me what you want to know about arts and entertainment in the North Bay to make the best use of your leisure time and money. As a longtime local arts journalist, I have learned where to look and who to ask.

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