Babatunde Olataunji was born
April 7, 1927. He’s a Nigerian musician.
He received his education at Morehouse
college in Atlanta and New York
University Graduate School.
His performance started as a
casual thing entertaining students.
So people started to want more and
more of his music and he became
professional as well. (See how
little things can grow into big
things, like it start off as
small jewels, then it leads up
to BIG diamonds)
Columbia records released his first album
called Drums of Passion, which was
a worldwide hit. It was one of the
first albums to bring true African
music to Western ears and it sold
more than 5 million copies.
Olatunji traveled around the
globe for 40 years showcasing his
African music and culture. By 1973,
he established the OLatunji Center
of African culture in Harlem NY.
He was also a member of the faculty at
easlene Institute in Big Sur, california
and the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck
New York for 15 years. At those institutions,
and workshops and festivals, Olatunji informed
people about African culture.
Babatunde taught drumming, dancing, and
classes for adults and young people.
He received A Grammy Award in 1991 for his collaboration with Grateful Dead drummer
Mickey Hart on the Planet Drum album.
Olatunji has written scores for Broadway
as well as Hollywood Productions, which
includes the music for She’s gotta Have it
by Spike Lee.