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Babatunde Olatunji Dies

Babatunde Olatunji, a Nigerian drummer whose music did much to break world music in America and who was a profound influence on John Coltrane, died April 9 in Salinas, Calif. of diabetes complications. He was 76.

Born in Ajido a Nigerian fishing village, Olantunji made plans to become a diplomat when offered a scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1950. His studies later brought him to New York City where he formed a band that played African music. The band played concerts and provided inspiration at several civil-rights rallies.

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