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Babatunde Olatunji


Nigerian-born drummer Michael Babatunde Olatunji grew to worldwide fame from the past due ’50s along with his groundbreaking 1959 Capitol Information debut Drums of Interest. The record was a big success, remaining on the net for many years and standing among the first types of the American record-buying open public taking a pastime in worldwide music. Jazz kingpin John Coltrane had taken a specific liking to Olatunji’s music, and both became friends, ultimately going as far as to collaborate within the starting of Olatunji’s Middle for African Tradition in Harlem, an organization founded in 1965 to provide classes focused around African tradition. Along with documenting his personal albums through the entire 40-yr period pursuing Drums of Enthusiasm, Olatunji used a bunch of stand-out performers of multiple styles, making guest looks on information by jazz greats like Cannonball Adderley, Horace Metallic, and Utmost Roach, aswell collaborating with performers who went the range, from Stevie Question to Bob Marley. Acoustic guitar rock and roll gods Santana re-interpolated an Olatunji structure on the debut album, and many members from the Thankful Dead added to his 1986 recording Dance towards the Defeat of My Drum. Olatunji continued to work carefully with Grateful Deceased drummer Mickey Hart and vocalist Flora Purim on earth Drum task. His function was tireless and included focus on music for movies and Broadway productions, drumming workshops, politics activism, and an extended stint being a musical educator. Olatunji experienced diabetes and finally succumbed to the condition in 2003, but he positively recorded and trained within the years before his death, abandoning a legacy of recovery music and public outreach.

Quick Facts

Full Name Babatunde Olatunji
Died April 6, 2003, Salinas, California, United States
Profession Author, Drummer, Composer, Educator, Choreographer, Social activist
Education New York University, Morehouse College
Nationality American, Nigerian
Music Songs Oh Yay, Ola, Akiwowo, Wining Good, Takuta, ZimBam, Ah Like It, Where I'm From, OLTL, Kiyakiya, Tun Fo Meh, Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations, Oh Meh Darlin, Tadow, Ajaja, Riddim In We Vein, Jin-Go-Lo-Ba, Betelehemu, Baba Jinde, Odun de! Odun de!, Oyin Momo Ado, The Beat of My Drum, With Meh, Shango, Bazu!, Oya, Long Distance Lover, Zungo, Herbalistic, Seasonally, Embracement, Ife L'Oju L'Aiye
Albums Drums of Passion, Circle of Drums, Drums of Passion: The Beat, Drums of Passion: The Invocation, Drums of Passion / More Drums of Passion, Love Drum Talk, Incantantions, Uhuru: Drums Over Africa, Drums of Passion (Original Album Plus Bonus Tracks, 1959), Zungo!, High Life!, Flaming Drums, Rhythms of Africa, Soul, African Drums, The Beat of My Drum, Awakening
Movies Babatunde Olatunji: African Drumming, Babatunde Olatunji: Drums of Passion: Live '85

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
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1 Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2001.
2 Nigerian drummer, vocalist, composer, dance choreographer, teacher, author and social activist. He lived and performed for many years in New York City.



Rocker 1972 TV Movie writer: "Jingo"
Stamping Ground 1971 Documentary writer: "Jingo"
Freeform 1970 Documentary short writer: "Jingo" - uncredited
Public Speaking 2010 Documentary writer: "New York USA" - as Michael Babatunde Olatunji
Burning the Map 2002 Video documentary performer: "Initiation Dance" / writer: "Initiation Dance" - as M.B. Olatunji
The Sopranos 2002 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Lightdance 1995 Video documentary short writer: "Ji-Go-Lo-Ba Jingo"
Camp Nowhere 1994 writer: "BONES"
The Rise and Fall of Ivor Dickie 1978 Documentary performer: "Jin Go La Ba" - as Michael Olatunji / writer: "Jin Go La Ba"
Sharon in the Rough 1976 performer: "Jin-Go-Lo-Ba" - uncredited
Pleasure Island 1975 writer: "Jingo" - uncredited

Music Department

Music Department

In the Blood 1989 Documentary composer: additional music
The Serpent and the Rainbow 1988 musician: percussion
She's Gotta Have It 1986 composer: additional music



The Healing Passage: Voices from the Water 2004 Documentary Himself
The End of the Road 2001 Documentary Himself
Late Night with David Letterman 1987 TV Series Himself
To Tell the Truth 1958 TV Series Himself

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