Olatunji, Babatunde [Michael Babatunde ]
- Gregory F. Barz
[Michael Babatunde ]
(b Ajido-Badacry, Nigeria, c1920; d Sabinas, CA, April 6, 2003). Nigerian drummer, composer and music organizer and promoter . Educated at the Baptist Academy in Lagos, he moved to the USA in 1950 where he took the BA at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1954. He settled in New York in 1954, enrolling in a graduate programme at New York University, and later established the Center of African Culture in Harlem in the 1960s, a cultural performing arts school. He collaborated with artists such as John Coltrane, Max Roach, Yusef Lateef, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart. His recordings and touring ensemble introduced countless audiences throughout North America and the world to West African performance traditions. In addition, he wrote about African music and composed several film scores. His association with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart led to several recording projects and further performing opportunities....