Monday, June 2, 2008

Babatunde Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji Official Site Bio:

"Rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm." - Olatunji

Babatunde Olatunji is "Master of Drums," a virtuoso of West African percussion. Born and raised in Nigeria, Olatunji was educated at Morehouse College in Atlanta and the New York University Graduate School. At Morehouse, he began performing informally, entertaining fellow students. As the demand for his music increased, he entered the professional music field.

In 1959, Columbia Records released Olatunji's first album, Drums of Passion, which became an unprecedented, worldwide smash hit. It was the first album to bring genuine African music to Western ears, and it went on to sell over five million copies. Olatunji has traveled the world for forty years spreading his music and African culture. Thirty years ago, he founded the Olatunji Center of African Culture in the heart of Harlem and he has been a member of the faculties at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York for almost 15 years. At these institutions, as well as at innumerable workshops and festivals, Olatunji continues to pursue his strong commitment to spreading knowledge of African culture through the teaching of traditional drumming, dancing, and chanting in classes for adults and young people.

Olatunji received a Grammy Award in 1991 for his collaboration with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart on their Planet Drum album. In addition, his composition "Jingo Lo Ba" has become a signature song for the rock group Santana. Olatunji also has written scores for Broadway and Hollywood productions, including the music for She's Gotta Have It, a film by Spike Lee.

In 1997, Chesky Records released love drum talk, which went on to be nominated for the 1998 Grammy for Best World Music Album. On it, Olatunji unleashes the rhythm of passion. Olatunji leads an ebullient ensemble of guitarists, singers and, of course, percussionists through a series of spirited meditations on the nature of love. Lust, kinship, sensuality, courtship, and spirituality are the themes Olatunji uses to fuel his joyous, infectious playing.

Babatunde Olatunji - Takuta:

Babatunde Olatunji interpretation of Fanga, a Rhythm from Liberia:

Babatunde Olatunji and Drums of Passion - Santa Cruz - 1995; Jingo-lo-ba (Olantunji's song - Santana famously covered it) at Palookaville in Santa Cruz, California.

For dimeadozen members, don't miss out on this recording:

Babatunde Olatunji
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
1996 Family Week

AUD recording.

cass - nero - wav - flac 6


Ara Mi Le
Aye Mi Re

This is a recording of a class @ omega. If you are a Baba fan then this is a must.


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