Band Member Bio
Songba, Dununba; Spoken Word
As founder of Nubian Messengers, Baba Mwata Nubian brought together talented percussionists and musicians to form an Afrikan-centered performing arts collective. The aim of the collective is to utilize worldwide African traditions and its influences in the music. Baba Mwata (as he is respectfully known) has dubbed this music as Afrikan Pulse Edutainment.
Hailing from Panama, Baba Mwata is a highly sought-after historian & musician of African culture and tradition. As a spoken word artist, he has shared his poetry on worldwide stages and has also played with a number of African drumming and dance ensembles, including Conjunto Nuevo Milenio, Amirikanke Kultural Arts Company, Harambee Dance Company, and Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn.
Bala (Balaphone), Digital Vibes, Percussions. Founding member of NM, Baba Aquah Tcherbu Beale plays balafon, marimba, vibraphone and assorted hand percussion instruments with Nubian Messengers. He has studied balafon with Famoro Djabate and studied vibraphone and marimba at Jazzmobile with Stefon Harris and Steve Nelson.
He appears on the albums “The Fiery Drum of Coster Mossamba,” “Musical Mosaic” by The Princeton University Chapel; “Chemical Pollution” by PBR Streetgang, and “Million Man Music” by Songhai Djeli. Aquah also performs with Songhai Djeli and Sheps Hetep Ancestral Music.
Djembe Orchestra, Conga, Producer Arranger
Kojo Ayinde Johnson is a founding member of Nubian Messengers and his percussion instruments of choice are the djembe and conga.
Raised in Brooklyn, Kojo began his musical journey as a pianist and turntablist. He began working parties as a high school student and continued into his college years. In 1992, he was introduced to the djembe and began an apprenticeship with the world renown African dance ensemble, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre Company (under the leadership of founder and master dancer and choreographer Abdel R. Salaam). In 1994, Kojo became a student of Mahiri Fadjimba Keita and began a more in-depth study of djembe. His teacher then introduced him to and guided him to study with Mamady Keita, the internationally acclaimed master percussionist. Kojo continues to study with Keita presently.
Deeply committed to working with youth and helping to build arts organizations, Kojo founded The HAND Arts & Edutainment and is a founding musician of the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre Company in Brooklyn. He is also a teaching artist and musical director whose talents have been shared with numerous schools, arts organizations, corporate entities, and faith-based institutions throughout New York.
Iyedun Ince was born in Harlem and comes from a distinguished family. His family founded the groundbreaking International African American Ballet. It was with this organization that Iyedun began his formal training in West African music and dance. Iyedun later went on to train under the noted percussionist Joe Barnes and the legendary Ladji Camara (who also introduced him to Caribbean and South America folklore).
Over the years, Iyedun has performed with several notable dance companies including A Touch of Folklore and More, Cinque, and Kow-Teff. He has also performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Alvin Ailey’s 40th anniversary celebration, the Apollo Theater, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Iyedun’s artistic mission in life is to continuously introduce the rich culture of the African Diaspora to the general public. This is accomplished, in part, through his teaching artist work. He serves as a teaching artist in schools throughout the United States and has taught West African music at the Arts Connection of New York, Broadway Dance Center, the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, and the Charles Moore Dance Theater where he is currently on staff.
Electric Bass, Sound Production Engineer
Electric Bass; Sound Design
Cox is a guitarist, bassist, producer, and drum programmer from New York City. He received his bachelor’s degree from The City College of New York and a master’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Michael started his musical journey in the 1970s. He grew up listening to the sounds from his EL Barrio neighborhood, where, as a pre-teen, he was the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for a junior high school rock band. In the 90s, house music was tremendously popular and Michael emerged as a producer in this genre. He produced several house music projects with his best friend, house music DJ Sean “Jodi” Diaz.
Along his journey, his grandfather introduced him to Calypso and jazz music. Most recently, he has re-discovered this world of jazz, the music of India, and traditional African music.
Working with Nubian Messengers is the culmination of a life of music that allows him to merge various musical styles and create a sound landscape. In contemplating the mission of Nubian Messengers, Michael shares that, “What we do is a bit of everything I’ve heard and continued to hear. I want our music to positively inspire and create a catalyst for positive change.”
Drums; Keyboard; Vocalist, Song Writter.
A native New Yorker, Bruce Mack (aka B-Mack) is a be-bop style vocalist who incorporates vocal improvisation into funk and other forms of music. B-Mack also plays several instruments, including electric bass, and various percussion instruments.
Bruce is the former president of the Black Rock Coalition and is a songwriter and conducting member of Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber (where he played on 13 recordings by the band). He is also the band leader and vocal arranger for the legendary actor, filmmaker, and composer Melvin Van Peebles’ band wid/Laxative.
A respected and well-accomplished musician, Bruce has performed with a variety of hip-hop, soul, funk, and jazz artists, including Keith Elam (aka Guru of Ganstarr), Brian Hardgroove, Mark White, Val-Inc, Marvin Sewell, David Fiuzynski, Kelvin Bell, Zhana Roiye, Michael 'Doc' Greene, Marque Gilmore, Amafujo, and Mark Peterson, among others.
Sharif began his journey with the trumpet at 13 and he’s be playing ever since. He went on to attend and graduate from the jazz program at The New School in New York. There, he began his musical exploration into other genres besides jazz, including funk, R&B, African rhythms, and Latin music, among other forms.
As a respected musician, Sharif has worked with Charli Persip, Charles Tolliver, Buster Williams, Mulgrew Miller, Joe Chambers, and Wallace Rodney, along with bands such as the Valery Ponomarev Art Blakey Big Band, the Ray Arbans Big Band, and the Harlem Renaissance Big Band. Currently he is working with legendary bassist John Benitez, among other luminaries.
Most well known as , "Brother Konscious", was born and raised on the Island of Barbados. As a small boy, he began playing music by singing and banging on the pots and pans in his grandparents kitchen. His first lyrical inspiration came after he heard TuPac Shakur's "California Love", and wrote his first verse. From there, Konscious hasn't stopped writing and rhyming ever since. During his teenage years he traveled from his home in the Carribean, and lived in both London and NYC. This would change the way he viewed & listened to music forever. His musical influences include Reggae, Hip Hop, RnB, Jazz, Dancehall, Soca, Afrobeat, Spoken Word, Salsa and more. As an artsit he has recorded and performed internationally with artists: Mic Blaque, AKIR, Davinche and Minim.
To Brother Konscious, Music is love. It is one of, if not the greatest expression of how one comprehends life and emotion.
Konscious says, "It is an honor to share the stage with the members of Nubian Messengers."
FEATURED GUEST ARTIST Vocalist/Singer Dancer
Sister Talisha is a multi-talaented performing artist. She is a Master African Dancer. She's a teaching artist professional in both dance and vocal. Having her vocal roots in the Black church tradition, having grown up performing with her family singing gospel sprituals, and up holding her tradition of the ring shouts of the Geechie-Gula peoples of the Carolinas. She these valueable talents and poerful gifts to every performance she gives.