The Bangladesh Project

Hip-Hop, Rock, Soul & Everything Groovin'...

Band Bio

*Baltimore MD*
 *Soul +HipHop + Rock + Groove*
For nearly a decade, the Bangladesh Project has been one of the premiere bands of the DMV area, perfecting a sound that draws inspiration from Hip-Hop, to Metal and Punk Rock, to Soul and R&B, to everything else in between.  In addition to producing their own original music, the Project has been tapped to back many of the region’s most prominent acts, to say nothing of all the musical dignitaries they have performed with as those artists made stops in the region along their way.
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The Bangladesh Project consists of six core members and a revolving cast of musicians who fill out the Project’s sound depending on need.  The Project can perform as a lean quartet, or a nine-piece band, depending on what is needed for the particular event, performance, or recording session.
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Band Highlights:
2016, Nominated Baltimore Crown Awards Best Band of the Year 
2016, Debut Album Release: Big Bang Theory
2015, Baltimore Book Festival w/ Liberated Muse @ The Baltimore Harbor
2012, The Seed Tour w/Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins @  Nowchild Soundstage
2012, Hip Hop Icons Tribute to Tupac w/Billy Lyve and Wisdom Court @ Club Reality
2012, Hip Hop Icons Tribute to Notorius B.I.G. w/Billy Lyve and Wisdom Court @  SONAR
2012,  Voted Baltimore Crown Awards Best Band of the Year 
2011,  Voted Baltimore Crown Awards Best Band of the Year
2011, Debut RP Release: The Studio EP

Da Band

  1. Christopher "Bangla" Keene-El
    Keyboard, M.C., Composer, Band Leader
      The Bangladesh Project was founded by Christopher “Bangla” Keene-El, who grew up in a family of musicians, the son of a guitar player and band leader, but whose own musical career was almost derailed by a five year encounter with the clarinet, an instrument Bangla would eventually come to lose on purpose.​
    ​  But blood has a way of proving thicker than water, or ambulatory instruments for that matter, and the music bug never achieved nearly the same distance from Bangla that his clarinet did.  Bangla would return to music, first as an emcee, then as a producer with the Producer’s Den, a tight knit collection of emcees and producers who came to own a studio together in order to network on various projects, including 2009’s ‘We Gonna Eat Regardless,’ before he transitioned to musicianship.
      In need of original beats and songs, Bangla began experimenting with a keyboard, a couple fingers at a time, eventually teaching himself to play, and even returning to the family of wind instruments, including flutes, wood flutes, and recorders, which he now also incorporates into the Project’s music.
    1. Anonamas Grooves
      Lyricist, Songwriter, Lead Vocalist
        Serving as lead singer and one of the principal songwriters for the Project is Anonamas Grooves.  An artist all her life, Anonamas took up poetry and later songwriting after a break from her various crafts to pursue a career in biology.  That also meant taking up singing, and experimenting with a sing-talking style until she found her voice (or perhaps ‘groove’ is apropos).  
      ​  Anonamas is a self-described 70s baby, influenced by the sounds of soul music, and drawing on inspirations such as Stevie Wonder, Mavis Staples, and Lauryn Hill.  That said, she has not limited herself to any one genre, or even various but enumerated genres, preferring to see music as a frame for the picture painted by her lyrics.  The question of which frame should adorn which image is a question of complement, not necessity, and thus the Project’s embrace of a wide array of sounds and genres serves as a perfect complement to Anonamas’s own approach to songwriting.
        She is first and foremost a songwriter.  With respect to this craft, Anonamas’s name is itself a peek into her artistic process, where she seeks to write anyone’s story, even when that person might not have a name.  With each song, Anonamas strives to create something indelible, the sort of music that still resonates decades after you first heard it.
      1. Big Ace
        Lead/Rhythm Guitar
          Big Ace serves as one of the Bangladesh Project’s core members, handling lead guitar duties for the band.  Also a multi-instrumentalist who has been playing guitar for about 30 years, Ace can play the bass, keyboards, drums, and sing, duties he undertakes when performing with his group, the Big Ace Band. 
        ​  Ace grew up on Blues and Rock-n-Roll, being influenced by acts like Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, and Jimi Hendrix, later coming to music such as that of James Brown.  Eventually Ace would encounter Hip-Hop and he began playing along to loops for his own enjoyment, an avocation that would lead him to backing rappers live as well as recording with them, something he has done now for 10 years.
          A life-long musician, Ace has moved wherever the music took him, playing in Georgia during the early 80s, Minnesota during the early 90s, and eventually landing in Baltimore, the city that has proved the most fruitful for his career because of the venue options and great crowds.  Ace loves working with the Bangladesh Project, and especially Bangla, whom Ace describes as a consummate musician who is always challenging the band with new sounds and styles, something that keeps Ace on his toes.
        1. Tanner Spaulding
          Bass, Rhythm Guitar
              Tanner Spaulding is another core Project member, taking on the bass duties, an instrument he has been playing, along with the guitar, for 20 years.  Spaulding came up playing mostly rhythm guitar for Hardcore and Punk Rock bands, while also producing Hip-Hop for the past 15 years.  

              That production background has served the Project well, helping to engender a style of bass playing whose focus is the bass’s role in the overall composition, not on drawing attention to itself.  Spaulding has mastered the art of remaining invisible, while nonetheless using the bass to steer the direction of the song and its chord progressions in a way few non-musicians can fully appreciate.
            It is Spaulding’s production experience that has enabled him to blend into the Project so effectively, giving him an innate understanding of what is needed to fill out whatever might be missing in the sound of a particular piece, while also ensuring the bass lines are crisp and audible without being overwhelming or distracting.
          1. Wombatt55
            Drums, Percussion, M.C.
                Handling the principal drumming duties for the Project is Wombatt55, an icon in the Baltimore Hip-Hop scene for his work as a member of Da F!RM (The Harbor Cypher Crew) and the Wayoutz during the mid 1990s.  Wombatt has been playing drums since he was six years old, beginning in the church, and he has been a percussionist more broadly for about 30 years, playing a variety of instruments such as the djembe drum, tambourine, cow bell, bongo drums, and congo drums, the last two of which he also played for the Maryland State Choir when he was just 15 years old.  
             
            ​    Wombatt’s approach to drumming preserves the quintessential ethos of the MC: move the crowd.  As the drummer, Wombatt controls the groove of the people, and so he keeps his eye trained on the crowd as he lays down the percussive foundation for the Project’s pieces, appreciating the need, as drummer, to both keep time, and keep people engaged.
                An emcee since 1990, Wombatt has generally reserved the gift that made him a Baltimore icon for his projects as a soloist, preferring to play the cut and not draw too much attention to himself as a member of the Project.  But, at the urging of Bangla, the Project’s leader, and Anonamas, the Project’s lead singer, Wombatt will be gracing the m-i-c with greater frequency on future Bangladesh Project efforts.