was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa and came
to England in 1987. He lives with his partner, Sara, and their
children, in Devon. He is a highly respected teacher and performer in
the UK and he performs with the well-known band,
Baka Beyond and with
the multicultural dance and drumming troupe which he founded called
which means 'community of artists'.
Ayo describes his drumming classes thus: "It's percussive orchestration. We're talking about rhythm, intercommunication, call and response, questions and answers. We're talking about a formula, a model that's traditional and which is also evolving. Some of the African music is hundreds of years old and some of it has been developing over the last 40 years or so. In my performance I am able to touch the length and breadth of my culture. I was lucky because I was able to learn about so much of it at home, it was coming out of every orifice." (Extracted from Kindred Spirit magazine article, Spring 2000.)
Where there is also dancing in the workshop the dance will usually be
accompanied by some of the drum rhythms that will have been learned
earlier in the workshop, so that we can dance and drum together. The
dancing is alive and sensual and, although it has structure, it is
also freeing. We can connect with our own internal rhythms and bring
them into the dance, and sometimes chanting will be involved. This way
the dancing and the drumming, the voice, the whole body, the mind and
the spirit are integrated into the rhythm.