The Spinning Wheel


UK tour 2016

Steve Ben Israel was a New York jazz musician, poet, stand-up comic, political activist and core member of the iconic ensemble The Living Theatre. He passed away in 2012, leaving behind a legacy of 1960s counter culture, and a son - Baba Israel.

The Spinning Wheel is an international collaboration between New York hip-hop theatre artist Baba Israel, Artistic Director of Unfinished Business, Leo Kay and musician Yako 440, with video by Richard Ramchurn and dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks.

Celebrating artistic expression, political activism and intergenerational collaboration the show remixes past and present in a fusion of storytelling, projection mapping, hip-hop, jazz and spoken word.

The project was initially supported by Theatre in the Mill, Bradford, La Mama Theatre, New York and Arts Council England. The team were later awarded the prestigious Fireworks Residency and Grant from BRIC House (Brooklyn), where the show and associated festival and exhibition had its US premier in January 2016. It later toured to the Roundhouse London and did a small UK national tour in Spring 2016.

Creative Team

Created by 
Baba Israel, Leo Kay & YAKO 440
Baba Israel
Leo Kay 
Musical Director 
YAKO 440
Video Artist 
Richard Ramchurn (AlbinoMosquito)
Talvin Wilks 
Visual Artist
Eric Drooker

Anna Smith of Unfinished Business in association with Baba Israel 
US Producer
MAPP International

Supported by Theatre in the Mill, Arts Council England and BRIC House.

“Much like a talented chef who can put the most unlikely ingredients together and create a delicious meal, Baba and Yako 440, guided by Kay, manage to pull off the same alchemical trick and create a brilliant and meaningful work of theatrical art.” 

[ Brad Rothbart, American Theater ]
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