BABAM was created in April 2016, when members of Boston-area activist street bands joined forces to create a “volunteer musician brigade” capable of rapidly mobilizing for events that individual bands would normally have to turn down, and of bringing together musicians from many bands to play as one ensemble.
The basics: membership is open to all. Activity is coordinated using a web app called “gig-o-matic.” All proposed ‘gigs’ – events – are entered by BABAM members into the system, typically in response to a request by some organization for musician support. All members are alerted to the new gig and can indicate their availability for it. If enough musicians sign up, the event typically goes ahead. The event leader- any BABAM member- acts as a liaison between BABAM members and the event organizer, communicating information about the event and the sponsoring group to the band.
At event time, the event leader can lead songs, or defer song leadership to other members. Music is tailored to the event, and may include a mix of “performance” songs from the street brand tradition, activist “sing-along” classics, and “chant-backing”, where the instruments of the band provide acoustic backing to the voices of marchers.
Our un-enforced dress code is “black with flair.”