Doctor Sparkles is the "cosmic cabaret wise guy who makes light of self” and alter-ego of Kevin Patrick Baiko, a metaphysical folk-rock singer turned ukulele enthusiast. Originally developed in 2006 as an enigmatic stage name for his award winning collection of ukulele songs, the personality of Doctor Sparkles soon developed a cult following on MySpace, especially amongst experimental artists, psychonauts and a fast-growing ukulele subculture. Songs on his MySpace profile have already received over 80,000 plays and his website DoctorSparkles.com consistently averages over 1,000 hits daily. In the 2006 Just Plain Music Awards Sail Away was voted 2nd runner-up for “Best Cabaret Album”, with its title track winning the distinction of “Best Cabaret Song”.
"Dr. Sparkles first CD 'Sail Away' is a pseudo-psychedelic, island breezy, folky, Latin influenced Ferris wheel ride for the child within. A musically sound, witty masterpiece."
(T.H. Bliss – Delerium Review)
Baiko grew up listening to and eventually performing (on trombone) many of the classic swing standards of the 30’s and 40’s (the likes of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie and Benny Goodman, etc.) with “The Nomads”, a 17-piece Big Band based in the SF Bay Area, which practiced weekly (through the 1970-80’s) at his home under the conduction of his step-father, Norm Benner. Reawakened by the island swing of his new songwriting vehicle – the ukulele - Baiko’s early swing influences inspired a burst of swing composition through the imaginative filter of Doctor Sparkles, resulting in a ukulele driven swing combining refined vocals, satirical lyrics and a lighthearted horn rich New Orleans sound. Doctor Sparkles is gearing up to share this sound, now captured on his follow-up album - Monkey Swing Monkey Doo – in live performance.
The stage presence of Doctor Sparkles could be described as a cross between Cab Calloway and David Bowie. Following the release of Sail Away, he performed both as a solo act and as a trio named “Doctor Sparkles and the Mystic Nomads”, being listed by Portfolio Magazine as one of the top 50 live acts in the Hampton Roads region (Virginia) until relocating back to San Francisco to better hone and develop his musical career. Doctor Sparkles currently hosts a monthly ukulele cabaret in San Francisco called the “Jumping Flea Circus”. With his new album nearing release, Doctor Sparkles is now ready to take his music career to the next level. Whether that involves organizing a new swing ensemble from his contributing studio musicians or involving the services of an A&R company, Doctor Sparkles is dedicated to develop both his silly enigmatic stage presence and his exacting creative sound (of both original compositions and standard covers) into a full-out spectacle for the senses and spirit. As he often quips, “I have worked hard to make light of my distinction.”
Doctor Sparkles is both a solo artist and with his band of merry musicians, "The Mystic Nomads", is the ensemble act: "Doctor Sparkles & The Mystic Nomads"). The center piece of this act is outrageously dressed and glittered up Doctor Sparkles with his ukulele (and an assortment of other stringed instruments) and sweet and at-times cartoonish voice. As a solo act Doctor Sparkles often puts on a stage show, performing out of boxes as if a "Jack-in-the-box" or behind puppet stages as "Lil Doctor Sparkles". The creative range of sound Doctor Sparkles & The Mystic Nomads present is a kaleidoscope of original songs, imaginative danceable arrangments, and light-hearted antics, which are only hinted at by the colorful costumes these musical adventurers don.
The Mystic Nomads are currently engaged on a gig-for-hire basis. Typical ensemble line-up is as follows:
Doctor Sparkles on vocals, ukulele/guitar & 2 woodwinds, 2 brass, upright bass, piano, drums.
Doctor Sparkles: "Monkey Swing Monkey Doo" - 2008 (August)
Doctor Sparkles: "Sail Away" - 2006
Kevin Patrick Baiko: "Fool's Gold" - 2003
Kevin Patrick Baiko: "Dirt & Divine" - 1991
Kevin Patrick Baiko: "Jack Sailor" - 1995
The Golden Age of Swing
Hundred Monkey Mambo
Swingtown (Alphabet in Reverse)
Devil Cat in a Concrete Jungle
Last Flight of the Multicolored Angel Bird
Another Birthday Song
Flinging Poo at the Zoo
Practice Suspicious Behavior
There's A Special Place
The ukulele-strumming shaman-trickster-guru with a cartoon roadmap of creative mindfulness
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"Doctor Sparkles is the Il Matto of 21st century culture makers. We are poor enslaved players for a ..."Doctor Sparkles is the Il Matto of 21st century culture makers. We are poor enslaved players for a heartless brute and Doctor Sparkles our clown, a droll mouse who pluckily razzes the roaring lion...
"The tone is lively and bright but there’s a Rive Gauche dark side to this CD as well; one minute you’re at a kindergartener’s birthday party and the next you’re jive-stepping down a dark alley in 1930s Berlin. Yes, this is a swing album, but there’s klezmer, blues, cabaret, and gypsy jazz here keeping it company.
"The hokey song subjects and musical treatments are totally in keeping with the swing tradition, with deep observations thrown in for depth and grounding. This ukulele-strumming shaman-trickster-guru is here to provide you with a cartoon roadmap of creative mindfulness...
"Sparkles uses swing as a metaphor for creation, human origins, the Dance of Life. (“The Golden Age of Swing” is the funniest creation song you ever heard.)... Throughout this album the music shifts emotionally to frame the words. Every musician here is a virtuoso, and they sound like they’re having a very good time..." (Wanda Waterman St. Louis - The Mindful Bard)
"One of the best swing albums of the year..."
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"What do you get when you cross a ukulele and monkey doo? How about one of the best swing albums of ..."What do you get when you cross a ukulele and monkey doo? How about one of the best swing albums of the year? San Francisco's Doctor Sparkles, that over the top MD of uke swing, comes out swinging with his sophomore effort, Monkey Swing Monkey Doo. Cabaret Jazz is a serious art form, and must be undertaken with a light heart and a sense of humor. Doctor Sparkles appears to have found the right formula.
"Come on, you mean he really plays a ukulele? Quite well, thank you. Doctor Sparkles is one mean uke player, and has a great cabaret/stage voice. There's an obvious sense of humor here, not to mention some first class jazz. Monkey Swing Monkey Doo is a real treat. Songs such as The Anahata display the charisma of Doctor Sparkles, not to mention the first class band he has behind him. The Golden Age Of Swing is a reminder of the roots of much of America's popular music for the last half-century. You'll need to check out the island swing of Gotta Dance, the freewheeling Monkey Love and the Gershwin-esque Just One Thing.
"Other highlights include the politically pointed Another One Percent, Always Be There and the Elvis Presley inspired Fling Poo At The Zoo. Doctor Sparkles combines classic swing and early rock sensibilities in the same way Louis Prima and many other 1950's/1960's Vegas performers did. This is an exciting album that will play well to crowds of all ages. So step up and Fling some Poo." (Wildy Haskell)
Just Plain Folks Winner of Best Cabaret Song
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Just Plain Folks has voted "Sail Away" Best Cabaret Song of 2006 (http://www.jpfolks.com/MusicAwa...Just Plain Folks has voted "Sail Away" Best Cabaret Song of 2006
and its namesake album "Sail Away" 2nd Runner-up for Best Cabaret Album of 2006
"You really can't classify Doctor Sparkles' music..."
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"You really can’t classify Doctor Sparkles’ music as it’s in a class all its own. “Sail Away” is a c..."You really can’t classify Doctor Sparkles’ music as it’s in a class all its own. “Sail Away” is a comical, hokey, island music inspired CD. Interestingly enough, Doctor Sparkles has a great voice and plays the ukulele quite well. 'Island Showers' is Doctor Sparkles’ solo performance with the ukulele and it is breathtakingly beautiful. 'The One That I Love' is a simple but wonderful love song that showcases Doctor Sparkles’ voice nicely. I could hear some folk influences in this tune."
"Doctor Sparkles is an enigma..."
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From Doctor Sparkles Interview by T.H. Bliss "Doctor Sparkles is an enigma. He is an enigma wrapp...From Doctor Sparkles Interview by T.H. Bliss
"Doctor Sparkles is an enigma. He is an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a pair of silver bell bottoms, platform shoes, a 5 gallon top hat and a pinch of glitter. He... has cut two CD’s to date: 'Dirt and Divine', an angst, haunting folk-rock record and 'Fool's Gold,' a hicky, fun folk-rock record. Dr. Sparkles first CD 'Sail Away' is a pseudo-psychedelic, island breezy, folky, Latin influenced ferris wheel ride for the child within. A musically sound, witty masterpiece."
"The Heir to Tiny Tim..."
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"Have you ever asked yourself 'Who is gonna step up and become the heir to Tiny Tim?' "No? Do you..."Have you ever asked yourself 'Who is gonna step up and become the heir to Tiny Tim?'
"No? Do you even know who the hell I’m talking about? (No, this ain’t Charles Dickens.) If you do know, do wonder why anyone would want to be the heir to Tiny Tim?
"I’m asking myself this after hearing Doctor Sparkles ukulele-ragin’ CD Sail Away. This guy is either a genius or … not a genius. Who can tell these days?
"Doctor Sparkles has a very vivid musical imagination. I think he’s even pretty damn talented. His voice can be almost breathtakingly beautiful. But he wails on a freaking ukulele! I can laugh - I can say this isn’t too god-awful for a ukulele - but I can only stand the torture of those twanky strings for so long.
"OK. If you dig ukulele, buy this. You’ll never look back. If you like driving your friends insane with your eclectic taste in music, buy this. If you have kids who you want to dissolve into laughter at the sound of music, buy this. If you hate ukulele, run."
"This super-fun strummer is practically from the future!"
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"The uke-kook is the wholesome Ian Whitcombe, strumming his old time ukulele music as if the last ni..."The uke-kook is the wholesome Ian Whitcombe, strumming his old time ukulele music as if the last ninety years or so never happened. Except he's dressed like a Dr. Seuss character, so now we're back to forty years. And his reggae-themed/Chipmunks-backed up Christmas song brings him witin thirty years. I take it back - this super-fun strummer is practically from the future!" (Flamin' Waymon, Timbsdayle King of Reviewland)
"Different than anything else I've ever heard..."
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"Baiko's alter ego Dr. Sparkles is over the top to say the least, but the music on his debut album i..."Baiko's alter ego Dr. Sparkles is over the top to say the least, but the music on his debut album is quite eclectic and definitely different than anything else I've ever heard. It's like a trip down to the Caribbean with little messages here and there. The opening of his debut album and title track is like taking Dracula and having him sing a song that would be perfect for the next SpongeBob SquarePants movie. It's soft, soothing and dementedly happy. The rest of the album is just as interesting.
The back of the album has a little description of what Doctor Sparkles is all about. Each song is supposed to be a fantasy. Some have 'pearls of wisdom' while 'others are scattered ideas whose only point is to point out how very silly it is to think it important to make points.' Baiko does both surprisingly effectively." (Tim Wardyn, music-critic.com)
One of Area's Top 50 Live Acts
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Doctor Sparkles listed as one of the area's top 50 live acts, Port Folio Weekly Magazine, Norfolk, V...Doctor Sparkles listed as one of the area's top 50 live acts, Port Folio Weekly Magazine, Norfolk, VA(December 12, 2006).
Nominated for Best Album
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Doctor Sparkles "Sail Away" nominated for Best Album for the annual Port Folio Music Awards, held Ma...Doctor Sparkles "Sail Away" nominated for Best Album for the annual Port Folio Music Awards, held March 14, 2007.
(Port Folio Weekly Magazine, Norfolk, VA, February 6, 2007.)
Set list catered to venue with a rather large spectrum depending upon anticipated audience, ranging from songs for children (or at least age appropriate) to more adult oriented humor, from traditional swing/Latin arrangements (In The Mood, Mambo #5) to novel, even silly arrangements (Baby Got Back sung high pitched to the ukulele, Tequila with new lyrics "Viagra", etc.).
Doctor Sparkles also has his own original birthday song, which he plays as the occasion demands.
Typical Swing Ensemble (The Mystic Nomads) Gig set lists are comprised of: 50% Doctor Sparkles orignals, 50% swing/Latin/ballroom dance covers, including, but not limited to:
Baby Got Back
The Oompa Loompa Song
Somewhere Beyond the Sea
Stray Cat Strut
Black Hole Sun
Dead Man’s Party
In the Mood
String of Pearls
Minnie the Moocher
Sweet Georgia Brown
*Doctor Sparkles enjoys engaging his audiences with "Guess that TV tune" Game when played on kazoo and ukulele. (This is adapted by need: during Christmas season it's "Guess that Christmas Song", and when playing at Abbey Road Restaurant, it's "Guess that Beatles Song".)