Fela Sowande

1905 – 1987

Modern Period

Born in Nigeria

Chief Fela Sowande (shoh-WAHN-daye) was born in Abeokuta, Nigeria in 1905. In his lifetime he wrote hundreds of choral, organ, orchestral, and solo pieces as well as books. He took inspiration from West-African, classical European, and American jazz music. In 1936 he performed as a solo pianist in George Gershwin’s A Rhapsody in Blue. One of his best-known pieces is African Suite, a string orchestral piece whose final movement became the theme of CBC’s music programme Gilmour’s Albums.