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The Beat of My Drum: An Autobiography

Overview

Babatunde Olatunji's record album Drums of Passion proclaimed that the time had come for America to recognize Africa's cultural contributions to the music world. Through his many albums and live performances, the Nigerian drummer popularized West African traditional music and spread his message of racial harmony. In this long-awaited autobiography, Olatunji presents his life story and the philosophy that guided him.

Olatunji influenced and inspired musicians for more than forty ...

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Overview

Babatunde Olatunji's record album Drums of Passion proclaimed that the time had come for America to recognize Africa's cultural contributions to the music world. Through his many albums and live performances, the Nigerian drummer popularized West African traditional music and spread his message of racial harmony. In this long-awaited autobiography, Olatunji presents his life story and the philosophy that guided him.

Olatunji influenced and inspired musicians for more than forty years-from luminaries to music students and the many ordinary people who participated in his drum circles. He writes about rhythm being "the soul of life," and about the healing power of the drum. Ultimately, The Beat of My Drum shows why at the time of his death in 2003, Olatunji had become, according to The New York Times, "the most visible African musician in the United States."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nigerian drummer Olatunji (1927-2003), an internationally celebrated musician who popularized West African traditional music and worked tirelessly in the Civil Rights Movement, offers his inspirational life story. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592133543
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 2/4/2005
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword—Joan Baez
Introduction—Eric Charry
Bibliography
Discography, Videography, Webography
Part I: Learning the Rhythm
1. The Spirit of Drumming
2. Yorubaland
3. From Lagos to Atlanta
Part II: Adapting to a New Rhythm
4. Jim Crow and College Life
5. Harlem on my Mind
6. Drums of Passion
Part III: Passing the Rhythm on
7. Social Change and Civil Rights
8. World Music Comes of Age
9. Voices of Africa
Afterword—Robert Atkinson
Index
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