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Final Studio Recordings of Drummer Babatunde Olatunji to Be Released

The final studio work of the late African drum great Babatunde Olatunji will be released by the Bay Area-based indie label MansMark. Titled Spirit of Musical Africa, the recording was begun in 2000 but the album remained unfinished upon the 2003 death of Olatunji. At that time MansMark CEO Ayo Ajisebutu took it upon himself to finish the project.

Spirit of Musical Africa features a mix of sounds ranging from the voice of the Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour to Miles Davis performances, Sikiru Adepoju, jazz percussionist Airto Morera and Rasaki Aladokun. The album is set for release this summer 2008. Singles from the album will be released digitally on April 6 and 7 to mark Babatunde Olatunji’s birthday on April 7. On April 6 MansMark will give away one of Baba’s new songs for free on

A portion from proceeds from the album sales will be used to fund causes that Babatunde Olatunji worked on.

Originally Published