Babatunde Olatunji was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist, and author. He was born on April 7, 1927, in Ajido, Nigeria and passed away on April 5, 2003, in Salinas, California, United States.
Olatunji was known as one of the pioneers of world music, having introduced African drumming to a global audience. He was a disciple of Nigerian drummer and percussionist, E.C. Arinze, and went on to establish his own drumming ensemble, the African Drums Orchestra, which performed in the United States and internationally.
In addition to his musical contributions, Olatunji was also a strong advocate for social justice and human rights, using his platform to raise awareness about issues such as apartheid in South Africa and the civil rights movement in the United States.
His book, “The African Drum,” published in 1971, is considered a seminal work in the study of African drumming and its cultural significance.
Babatunde Olatunji’s impact on the world of music and his tireless work as a social activist have secured his place as a cultural icon and a symbol of cross-cultural unity.