Bayo Martins

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b. Adebayo Santos Martins, 24 November 1932, Calabar, Nigeria, d. 12 August 2003, Germany. A remarkably skilled percussionist, Martins was a member of several African bands, among them Koriko Klan, which…
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Artist Biography by

b. Adebayo Santos Martins, 24 November 1932, Calabar, Nigeria, d. 12 August 2003, Germany. A remarkably skilled percussionist, Martins was a member of several African bands, among them Koriko Klan, which he formed in the 50s and which later evolved into the African Messengers, and Band Africana. He studied journalism in England and wrote extensively on popular music for newspapers in Nigeria and elsewhere. In the 60s he drew together other African musicians, especially drummers, forming the Bayo Martins Generative Afro Jazz Drumming and the Afro Jazz Group. Martins was especially interested in bringing latter-day African polyrhythmic drumming and harmonies into contemporary jazz of the 60s and 70s. Among musicians with whom he played are Inyang Henshaw, Chris Ajilo, Bobby Benson and Guy Warren aka Kofi Ghanaba. Martins was Founder/President of the Musicians Foundation of Nigeria, an organization that helped raise money with which to buy musical instruments for and raise the cultural profile of Nigerian working musicians, and of the Bayo Martins Music Archive. Politically active throughout all of his adult life, Martins took his music, philosophy and political thought to many countries in Africa and elsewhere, travelling extensively in Europe from the late 50s. He was a frequent lecturer at various academic centres, including the Frobenius Institute at Frankfurt University in 1980. Among his compositions are ‘Offertory For Drums’, and his stage works include Shantus Of Shanta.