Francis Awe and the Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble

Francis Awe is a Master Talking Drummer and a prince in the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. When Francis was two months old, his grandmother presented him to the village drummers to be accepted as their son. From this prosperous and ordained beginning, Francis Awe has traveled around the world entertaining audiences with his Talking Drum, performing in Italy, Mexico, Germany, India, Alaska and throughout the U.S.A.

Francis Awe studied at the University of Ife in Nigeria, where he obtained a Degree in Dramatic Arts. Before coming to America, he served as Chief Cultural Assistant and drummer for the University of Lagos, Centre for Cultural Studies. In the United States, he received a B.A. Degree in World Arts and Cultures and an M.A. in African Studies at UCLA. He has also composed music for stage, films and television.

Today he resides in Los Angeles with his African American wife, Omiwale Orishayomi, lead dancer and Assistant Director of the Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble. Omowale studied at the California Institute of the Arts and has a B.A. Degree from Spelman College. She has also studied Ghanain dance under the tutelage of Kobla and Dzizobe Ladzekpo.

The Nigerian Talking Drum Ensemble was formed by Francis Awe in 1985 in response to the growing interest in the Talking Drum. The ensemble of drummers and dancers entertains and educates audiences of all ages about Nigerian traditions and culture through the use of music, song and dance. Whether it is the slow mytic dance for Obatala (the god of peace and purity), or the hot fiery dance of Sango (the god of thunder), or Sabada, a social dance of praise to the creator, the group will truly transform you to the shores of Nigeria.