One of the most gifted young percussionists from the twin Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Modupe Folasade Onilu has a dream of taking percussion to a different level in his island.
Growing up in the “ghetto” of Laventille, spending most of his early musical experiences around steel bands like Laventille Serenaders and Desperadoes, he had a great passion for steel drums. Son of master percussionist Jajah Oga Onilu, (R.I.P.) founder of the Jewels of Nature organization, learning from his father how to make and play instruments never seen to most of the percussion community, has opened doors for him in the music scene in Trinidad. He has performed with well-known musicians/artistes like Big band Charlie’s Roots with band leader Pelham Goddard , David Rudder, Black Stalin, Super Blue, Machel Montano, Busy Signal, Lil Jon, Luis Conte, Collie Budz, John John and Caribbean jazz masters Raf Robinson, Clive Zander, Ray Holman, Ron Reid, Theron Shaw, Sean Thomas, Arturo Tappin, Etienne Charles, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Mikhail Salcedo, Anthony Woodroffe, vocalist Vaughnette Bigford, steelpan virtuoso Ken “professor” Philmore, Michael Low Chew Tung’s Elan Parle and recently performed with well-known Dominican Cultural Ambassador, vocalist Michele Henderson . Modupe has been a band leader, composer and arranger for his own jazz projects Dayo Bejide Jazz Project and a power trio consisting of his older brother Baba Onilu and Kepha Yaseph called the Dayo Bejide Trio. Modupe is one of the most versatile percussionists in his region having played at many jazz festivals and concert like Tobago jazz Experience, jazz artistes on the greens, Trinidad and Tobago Jazz festival and many more. He is also a well-known Percussionist in the steel band fraternity having played with Top steel bands like Exodus steel orchestra, Courts sound specialists of Laventille and a retired member of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) where he spent two years as a percussionist, timpanist and Drummer.
Modupe has done clinics and drum workshops in Trinidad and Tobago at various schools and has a clinic every year for the pan in the classrooms program and had a chance to be a guest percussionist with the UWI percussion ensemble at PASIC which was held in Austin, Texas of 2008 having attended over 20 workshops, clinics, master classes in 5 days. He has toured the state of Michigan giving lectures and performances on Trinidad’s culture with the Jewels of Nature organization in 2005. One of his recent overseas performances was at the Travel Professionals of Color conference (TPOC) as a solo percussionist where Trinidad and Tobago received an award for being an authentic heritage site of the world. Modupe also had the honors of receiving an award with Rapsoul band Rhythmic Roots, for most innovative music in the year of 2008 from NYJAC youth committee and various best village’s competitions. Modupe is currently working on his debut album as a leader entitled Da Truth, Music for world peace and humanity. Modupe Onilu is now a proud endorser of Soultone Cymbals.
ADDITIONAL FACEBOOK PAGES:
Jazz Fusion Band http://www.facebook.com/DayoBejide.JazzProject
Organic Trio- http://www.facebook.com/DayoBejide.Trio