Grammy-award winning percussionist Lekan Babalola came to the Danford Room on Tuesday 24 January 2017 to discuss drumming, jazz fusion and Yoruba culture.

Lekan Babalola instructing the room

Lekan performed on a range of percussive instruments from Africa and its diaspora in the Caribbean and South America. He invited the audience to experience polyrhythms, the basis of many African-derived musical forms, as he led us in clapping and singing multiple rhythms at once. And he explained the links between music and Yoruba cultural traditions, particularly Ifá, the Yoruba divination tradition, and the tonal quality of the Yoruba language.

Lekan Babalola demonstrating

This was the first of our new series of African arts and cultural events at the Department of African Studies and Anthropology. Coming weeks will see also involve storyteller Usifu Jalloh, a participatory Afro-fusion dance workshop by Birmingham-based dance company ACE Dance, and regular African film screenings.

All are welcome, including colleagues and friends beyond DASA, and all the events are free of charge.


Film screening

Lekan Babalola describing an exhibition

Lekan Babalola on drums