|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2009)|
Idris Ackamoor (born Bruce Baker circa 1951, hometown Chicago) IDRIS ACKAMOOR is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor, tap dancer, producer, administrator, and director. He is the Founder, Executive/Co-Artistic Director of the internationally recognized multi-disciplinary San Francisco performance company Cultural Odyssey. Idris is also the Artistic Director of the legendary world music/jazz ensemble THE PYRAMIDS.
Mr. Ackamoor has been honored with TWO ―Lifetime Achievement Awards for his extraordinary musical and theatrical contributions. The most recent was presented in January 2012 by the renowned BBC radio personality Gilles Peterson at the Worldwide Awards Show in London. In 2003 San Francisco‘s historic magazine, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, presented Idris with his first. Idris has guided Cultural Odyssey both artistically and administratively since the inception of the organization 35 years ago. He is a true “renaissance” man having to wear many different hats. He was trained in bookkeeping by the late Ann Weiseltier of L. Ann Weiseltier and Associates as well as by the accounting firm of Swiff, Levy, & Polo. In addition, Idris has extensive grant writing experience and has received training in various technological fields from Bay Area Video Coalition including Final Cut Pro editing and Filmmaking. His administrative training has served the organization incredibly well during the current financial crisis allowing for a lean organizational structure helping to create continued prosperity for the organization. In 2013 Mr. Ackamoor received a James Irvine Foundation Exploring Engagement Fund Award to conduct concerts and music workshops to build the Music is the Healing Force Community Orchestra composed of a diverse array of multicultural and low-income participants culminating in concert presentations in nontraditional arts venues in San Francisco. The U.S. Department of State, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau selected Idris twice as an “Arts Envoy”. In his role as an arts ambassador he journeyed to Johannesburg, South Africa conducting residency activities inside the Naturena Women's Prison with his partner Rhodessa Jones. In 2007 Idris conducted his first U.S. Department of State Speakers Tour of Russia where he conducted performances and workshops at University of Moscow, the American Center, and University of Rayzen. Idris has rightfully been in the spotlight of late thanks to the renewed interest in his 1970's legendary band, THE PYRAMIDS which he re – united and since 2010 has conducted an amazing seven whirlwind European tours throughout the continent! In the last three years a stunning 12 albums have been released of Mr. Ackamoor‘s music, including the first Pyramids‘ album in over 35 years entitled Otherworldly. In addition, a 3-CD box set was released entitled The Pyramids 1972 – 1976 – They Play to Make Music Fire. In 2004 Idris released his third CD, "Homage to Cuba". In 1999 Idris released his second jazz CD entitled, "Centurian" and in 1998 he recorded and released his first CD, "Portrait". Idris has recently received an Individual Artists Award from the San Francisco Cultural Equity Program to compose for the next PYRAMIDS’ album.
- Portrait 1998
- Centurian 2000
- Homage to Cuba 2004
- Music of Idris Ackamoor 1971-2004 2006