Isaac Afutu

Musician, Art Director, and Teacher in Sydney, Australia

Isaac Afutu

Musician, Art Director, and Teacher in Sydney, Australia

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The heart and soul of African Beat is their Artistic Director and Master Drummer, Tuza (Isaac Afutu), who entertains Australian audiences with interactive traditional African drum and dance sessions. Groups including school students, aged care residents and corporate high fliers have all been captivated by Tuza's energy, which began in a poor village in Ghana, West Africa.

Tuza was born in Ghana in West Africa. His parents couldn’t afford to buy him a drum, so he improvised, learning his craft on a jerry can and pots and pans. His parents disapproved, believing his education was more important than music.

Tuza persisted, eventually learning traditional music from the elders of his village - the Ga tribe of Ghana and forming a drum and dance ensemble (The Salaka Ensemble) with local youths, ensuring the traditional music of his tribe would not be lost.

Salaka has become a tour de force in their community and showcases the best performers from the new generation in the genre of traditional African drum & dance.

In 2000, Tuza visited Australia for the first time and began performing in schools. With just his djembe (African drum) and a passion to share his culture, he raised enough money to form a company - Teambeat (which later became African Beat) and buy another 100 drums. With these, he toured more schools with a live, interactive show which enabled students to play the drums themselves. Word quickly spread about this unique show and it wasn’t long before Tuza’s solo performances at schools evolved into a national tour, combining the talented musicians from the Salaka Ensemble with more than 1,000 drums.

Tuza has gone on to perform in schools, nursing homes and boardrooms across Australia. Corporate team building sessions have proved popular for major corporations who have embraced this unique, interactive musical experience.

Tuza has facilitated Team Building workshops for companies such as BP, Nokia, Westpac & KFC, visited over ten thousand schools in every State of Australia and led teaching workshops to all levels of percussion students.

African Beat helps Tuza support his home community, including helping to establish a holiday lodge and drumming/dancing school in Ghana, creating jobs and ensuring the traditional African music and dance will be enjoyed both here and in his home country for decades to come.

You can click the button above to visit African Beat's store to buy Tuza's CD or an African instrument.