Rhythms of Ejo Masquerade
Najite Agindotan was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He comes from a family of performers and culture bearers rooted in West African, Okpe, and Yoruba tradition. Throughout his life, he has performed as a master percussionist, carrying forth culture through song, beats of the drum, stories, poems, and prayer. Najite has been teaching his children traditional drum and dance rituals since their birth while residing in Los Angeles with his family. He has performed professionally and instructed workshops on drum/dance at various community festivals, music events, cultural centers and schools. In addition to his work performing and instructing traditional West African music, he also founded an LA-based Afrobeat band group whom he’s toured with throughout the year.
Najite is working with apprentice Metebrafor Agindotan, focusing on the Rhythms of Ejo Masquerade; a community mask dance of unity, blessings, giving thanks and honoring ancestors. This traditional art comes from my tribe known as Okpe in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Due to the inseparable nature of drum and dance in the African culture, Metebrafor will learn both drum rhythms and dance but primarily focus on the drum rhythms. There are about 12 drum rhythms a drummer must master in order to lead the masquerade. However, to learn all of them must take years of commitment, so they will focus on 5-6 of the 12 main drum rhythms for the duration of the apprentice program. Lessons will begin January and end in June 2021 in time for presentation at the Annual Day of Ancestors Festival of Masks in Leimert Park.
Najite Agindotan, Founder, Day of the Ancestors: Festival of Masks
Najite Agindotan, King of the African Drums