Celebrating 60 Musical Years of Ayo Bankole Jr with Symposia

Friends, associates in the arts and entertainment professionals are set to celebrate Nigeria’s foremost classical pianist and composer, Ayo Bankole Jr as he clocks the milestone age of 60.

To celebrate the son of the iconic musicologist, pianist and composer, Ayo Bankole, a number of events have been lined up, which includes a two-leg symposium slated for the MUSON Centre in Lagos on the 26th of May, 2022.

According to the organisers of the events, the symposium themed, ‘The past, present and future of Nigerian Art Music: Celebrating Theophilus Ayoola Bankole Through Ayo Bankole Jr at 60’ and ‘Nollywood in Motion: Music as a Film tool in the 21st century Nigeria’, is necessary to preserve and celebrate the heritage Bankole represents, not as a belated reality, but a potential heritage for understanding our common musical and cultural history, contemporary realities, and possible future.

The organisers also noted that Ayo Bankole is remembered through his son, Ayo Bankole Jr, who has not only sustained his father’s legacy but has also championed new creative and artistic frontiers that have laid foundations for the emergence of distinct Nigerian screen music composition, jingles/commercials, film/Nollywood music, African art music and performance practices in western classical music tradition, popular music, jazz and new forms of digital music-making.

It further disclosed that celebrating Theophilus Ayo Bankole as a common-Nigerian musical heritage is to celebrate his legacy.

The first symposium, ‘The past, present and future of Nigerian Art Music: Celebrating Theophilus Ayoola Bankole Through Ayo Bankole Jr at 60’ has Prof. Olabode F. Omojola of the Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA as Keynote Speaker, with Dr Ayo Oluranti, a Resident Fellow of the Goethe-Institute, Germany as moderator.

The panelists include Dr. Kayode Samuel, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Sir Emeka Nwokedi, Muson School of Music, Nigeria, Mr. Ebenezer Omole, LIFE Theological Seminary, Nigeria, Dr. Stephen Olusoji, of the University of Lagos, Seun Owoaje of the Mountain Top University, Nigeria, Prof Atinuke Layade, Mountain Top University, Nigeria and Dr. Oladele Ayorinde of the University of Bonn, Germany/Wits University, South Africa

Quoting from the programme of events, the organisers said: “Given the various future-centred initiatives found in the works of Theophilus Ayo Bankole, we found it necessary to further engage his musical works and scholarship, negotiating new ideas, and artistic-centred creative resources—particularly for new generations of Nigerians. In other words, beyond description and historical report, to critically engage his works, ideas and his personality for new knowledge that are relevant to contemporary social and economic dynamics, music practice and scholarship in Africa and around the world.

“We ask: what might it mean to explore and understand the contemporary development in music (broadly speaking, and in particular, sacred and church music, sound media, film music, music education and research, gospel popular music, African/Nigerian art music, and classical music) and its impact in people’s everyday life in Nigeria?

“In exploring this question, the Ayo Bankole Centre for Arts and Cultural Expression, Lagos, the Department of Music, Mountain Top University, Ogun, the MUSON School of Music, Lagos, the Department of Musicology/Sound Studies, University of Bonn, Germany, present a day symposium, in celebration of T. A Ayo Bankole Snr in the 60 years of Ayo Bankole Jr.

“The organisers have conceived of this symposium as a means to enable dialogue and engage new frontiers in Nigerian music (its practices and studies) and celebrate emerging trends in the Nigerian arts and music industry.

“We believe it will be of great benefit to practitioners and scholars and every Nigerian interested in Nigerian art and culture: its past, present, and future. We look forward to an interesting moment of celebration, meeting, thinking and sharing”, the organisers said of the first symposium billed to hold between 1pm to 3pm on the 26th of May, 2022 at the MUSON Centre, Lagos.

For the second symposium holding at the same venue from 6pm to 8pm, with the theme, ‘Nollywood in Motion: Music as a Film tool in the 21st century Nigeria, the birthday boy, Ayo Bankole Jr Is billed to be the lead discussant, with Nollywood legend, Joke Silva moderating. The penalists include celebrated filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, Bayo Adepetu, Seun Owoaje, Sani Muazu, Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, Ramsey Noah and Ayo Oluranti

This symposium seeks to explores music as a vital economic resource and a tool for advancing Nigerian films.

“Music, a phenomenon that is hardly considered as source of revenue in Nigerian film industry, is a strategic economic and cultural resource for Nollywood.

“The symposium seeks to explore music as a media, aesthetic, and revenue resource for Nollywood in the global film industries. The symposium will be of great benefit to film directors, film producers, actors, film music composers, media houses, music producers, film marketers, scholars, advert agencies, and the public in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. We look forward to an interesting moment of celebration, meeting, thinking and sharing”, the organisers said.

According to the organising committee, a grand concert is also slated to take place on the 8th of July 2022 at the MUSON CENTER to round off a month long celebrations in honour of the musical collosus.

Ayo Bankole Jr is a classical Pianist and Composer, who has composed several classical, Jazz and contemporary pieces.

He is the most sought after Classical Pianist based in Nigeria, as he performs as a guest artiste annually in the prestigious MUSON Festival. He also owns the popular Minstrel Craft Music studio and Ayo Bankole Arts Centre in Lagos.

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