Like many musicians, Nigerian native Dapo Dina began his musical career as part of a family singing group. His father was interested in music and invited musicians from different churches to work with him and his children. Dina learned to harmonize and sing all the parts as well as developing an interest in the keyboard.
What Dina learned as a young man will be on display on Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m. at Red Light Cafe as part of the ongoing Atlanta Jazz International Sounds Series.
Dina eventually moved to South Africa to become a businessman, but music kept calling to him and he became involved in the “Afropolitan jazz scene” in Johannesburg. He said African cities have began to embrace the music and language of continental tribes. As a member of the Yoruba, Dina says that music is more a part of every day communication. “In song you can curse someone out or sing someone’s name,” he says. Dina has brought the musicality of his native language to his exploration of jazz. He talks about Afro pop and Afro punk as being distinctly African responses to different musical genres. He sees himself as someone who infuses jazz with African musical styles.
Dina has been influenced by some of the great jazz musicians of the day including Herbie Hancock, Grover Washington and Danielo Perez. He composes much of his own music and says his songs come alive to him during his practice hours. His second album “Radioplay” will be released in September. Dina will be joined by a drummer from the Ivory Coast, a singer from Nigeria and sax and bass players from the US for his concert Friday night.