Akeem Ayanniyi leads Agalu. The “Ayan” prefix of Akeem’s name Ayanniyi, indicates that he descends from a family lineage that can be traced back 700 years to the Yoruba deity of drumming, Ayan Agalu. As the ninth generation of his family to play the traditional Yoruba talking drum, Akeem, is from the Western Nigerian town of Erin Oshun near the historic art center of Oshogbo.He has been performing since the age of five and has, as a performer and teacher, toured much of Africa as well as Germany, Brazil, Sweden and the United States. Akeem settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1993 and founded Agalu in 1998.

For bookings, drum classes, workshops, drum sales and repairs, contact:

Akeem Ayanniyi
Agalu Musical Director
1631 Calle Sotero, Santa fe, N.M, 87507.
Phone: 505 920-4656

Dean Howell

Dean Howell, Ed. D. … Artist, College Professor , and Writer…has exhibited internationally, and in galleries and museums across the country… with a number of contemporary and modern artists, including : Warhol, Neel, Estes, Max, Martin, Chamberlain, and Thiebaud—among others. He has taught at Parsons School of Design in NYC, and at Santa Fe Community College. He’s illustrated four books by Allan Pacheco…depicting chronicles of Santa Fe and the United States. In October, 2007, he presented the exhibition, “DEAN HOWELL PRIMAL”—embodying the primal fear in everyday life and art. “DEAN HOWELL PRIMAL II…an urging of throbs”, now hangs in the Gallery, at the Tarnoff Art Center in Rowe, NM…thru Nov.

Elise Gent

After graduating from Bennington College with a B.A. in Dance and studying ballet and modern dance in New York CIty, Elise Gent drove her VW to Santa Fe. Here she found African Dance and her husband, Eric Gent.They have had the Railyard Performance Center since1996. During her 29 years of teaching, she has had the privilege of studying with many great artists in the United States, Africa and Haiti.
Elise uses the name “D’Jeune D’Jeune” when she dances. It is a term of endearment, of life and of the drum.


Gasali Adeyemo is a Batik and indigo artist from Nigeria. He trained at the Nike school of art in Oshogbo where on graduation he became an instructor for several years.
Gasali has been teaching traditional Yoruba indigo and batik design in America for nearly twenty years. He has been a regular participant at the Santa Fe folk art market and has appeared in FIESTA FELA every year.


We are an Afro Pop Funk dance band, playing music of Africa and America. Our songs date from a thousand years ago to modern originals that combine ancient and contemporary instruments and harmonies. JAKA will “pulsate” you right out of your chair to get you up and moving to the music!
This band was formed by Dan Pauli close to twenty years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dan is the keystone for the group and he brings a heritage stretching to the Pacific NW and the great teachers of Zimbabwe.
Our core band mates are Dan Pauli on mbira, vocals, and marimba; Marco Topo on bass; Lee Steck on drums and vocals; Hountor Gent on mbira, mandolin, percussion and vocals; and Jessie Garcia on guitar and vocals. We have a large family of musicians locally and an even larger community of visiting international artists. Just like at other times, other places, our group swells to include these other musicians as they appear.
JAKA can expand in number for large venues like the Crestone Music Festival or compress to a smaller sound and size for private parties or gallery openings.
JAKA is unique because we have our own World Rhythm Studio located in Santa Fe where marimba and Taiko Drumming classes are offered (at separate times). The studio also serves as a work shop for the creation of Dan’s unique line of instruments.
For information about booking, taking classes or purchasing instruments just see the contact info on the left side of our website.
Consider custom marimbas and mbiras to order for making your own music!

Laura Tarnoff

My artwork is a direct expression of my emotions and my interpretations of my life experiences. I am inspired mostly by pivotal moments in my life when I gain new insights; usually during raw and challenging periods, (this is when I have my most meaningful insights and shifts in my perceptions). These moments are often what I depict in my work. I also try to carry these memories into my daily life and hold them near, resultantly, this helps me to see and express these deep emotions in my more spontaneous work and even my abstract painting. Additionally, I am fascinated with perceptions, how they evolve; how one situation, emotion or object can be different, all depending on one’s perceptions and development; and what may be underneath the surface of things or outside one’s scope (yet still exist whether seen or not), at any given moment. This is why I am drawn to the human form and the beauty of what lies underneath the skin. To me, the human form is a divine creation- and it fascinates me- it houses our souls.. As a culture, I think we are taught to admire the surface of things, to maintain youthful bodies, nice looking homes, clothing etc, and to focus on outward appearances. In contrast, I am interested in painting our inward appearances and the beauty that is beneath the human form and beneath the surface of things – outside the scope of our immediate perceptions. 505-919-8888Welcome

Tommy Dukes Arizona Blues Legend

Tommy Dukes was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and grew up in Winslow, Arizona. He started playing the guitar and harmonica at age 13. On stage he covers traditional Blues, R&B and his own original songs. Tommy has entertained Blues enthusiasts all over Arizona and the US. He has appeared with Lenny Brooks, Joe Louis Walker, John Lee Hooker, and Clarence Carter to name just a few. Tommy currently lives in Winslow AZ; it’s his home base from which moves out to various cities playing Blues all year long. Tommy released “Keeping the Blues Alive” in 1996. The following year, Dukes was the first Northern Arizona musician to be inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.

Swank Brothers

Flash: Guitar, Vocals.
From: Cincinnati , Ohio .
35 years playing in roots music bands. Has played in opening acts for shows ranging from Junior Wells to Bill Monroe.
Curt Edwards; Drums
From; Raygun, South Dakota
In-demand session drummer in Northern New Mexico, has played with ten bands in one week.
Akeem Ayanniyi : Percussion, Vocals
From: Erin Osun, Nigeria.
Ninth generation of his family to play the traditional Yoruba talking drum. Performing since the age of five. Has toured much of Africa as well as Germany , Brazil , Sweden and the US as a performer and teacher.
Eddie Soleta: Bass, Vocals.
From: Manila , Philippines .
35 years playing salsa and samba percussion and electric bass. Member of the house band at Le Montmatre, top Bay-Area Latin music club, in the 70’s.