All you need to know about Chief Olufela Obafunmilayo popularly know as Fela Sowande Let’s take a look at his Biography, Nationality, Career, Age, Net worth, Family.
Chief Olufela Obafunmilayo “Fela” Sowande MBE was a Nigerian musician and composer.
Chief Olufela Obafunmilayo who is a Musician, Composer, Professor, Author and Music conductor, was born in May 29, 1905 in Abeokuta, Nigeria to Emmanuel Sowande, who was an Anglican priest who pioneered Church music.
Fela Sowande attended CMS Grammar School and King’s College, Lagos before going on to get a Fellowship diploma from the Royal College of Organists in Lagos. While getting the scholarship, he had a band with which he played jazz and popular highlife music
He moved to London to study European classical and popular music.
Influenced by Jazz and Popular music as well as the church music of his father and the composer, organist and choirmaster, Dr T. K. Ekundayo Phillips, Fela Sowande was a musician and composer of music in the classical European style. During his stay in Britain, Sowande worked as a church organist, a theatre organist, a dance pianist, bandleader, and choirmaster with his compositions based on Nigerian melodies.
Fela Sowande composed music for the British Ministry of Information during World War II providing background music for educational films while working for the BBC Africa Service and then moving back to Nigeria in 1953 to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation.
Fela Sowande’s sound is a mix of Western and African ideas and it included organ works such as the ‘Yorùbá Lament’, ‘Obangiji’, ‘Kyrie’, ‘Gloria’, ‘Jesu Olugbala’, and ‘Oba Aba Ke Pe’ and orchestral works such as the ‘Six Sketches for Full Orchestra’, ‘A Folk Symphony’, and ‘African Suite’.
In 1957, he got the United States State Department Leaders and Specialists grant which allowed him to present organ recitals in New York, Boston, Massachusetts, and Chicago, Illinois, and to lecture on his researchin Music. Between1962 to 1965, Ford Foundation gave Fela a grant to conduct research on the Yoruba religion and in 1966 he was awarded a grant by the Nigerian government to study and write about Nigerian music.
Fela moved to the United States permanently in 1968, taking an academic position first at Howard University, Washington, D.C. until 1972, after which he took a position at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until 1976. His last academic position was at Kent State University in Ohio
As an author, he wrote the books; Nigerian Art Music, Come Now NIgeria amongst others.
He was given a chieftaincy title, Chief Bariyo of Lagos.
He was married to Eleanor McKinney. Complications from a stroke occurred to Fela Sowande. He died March 13, 1987 at Ravenna, Ohio and buried in Randolph Township.
Fela Sowande who had an insatiable thirst for music on going to study Composition at Princeton University, was studying organ privately under the tutelage of Edmund Rubbra, George Oldroyd, and George Cunningham and went on to become a fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 1943.
In the last years of his life Sowande taught in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University, and lived in nearby Ravenna, Ohio with his wife, Eleanor McKinney, who was one of the founders of Pacifica Radio
In addition to his position as a professor, Sowande also held the chieftaincy title of the Bariyo of Lagos. There is currently a move to set up a centre to research and promote his works, as many remain unpublished or are out of print.
Fela Sowande net worth is currently not available.
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