A virtuoso of African rhythm music, Onye Onyemaechi, master drummer, percussionist and performer brings a powerful experience to audiences across the U.S. and Europe. A native of Nigeria, Onye creates original compositions that blend tribal rhythms with contemporary music influences. His multicultural blend of hypnotic trance-dance music inspires and uplifts others to celebrate diversity and awaken the native joy of the soul. Performing both solo and in ensemble, Onye’s artistry creates electrifying musical feasts and collaborations.
"The echoes of the village drums penetrate the dancer’s psyche and operate in profound ways-familiar and mysterious," says Onye. "When people drum, laugh and cry, sing and dance together, they heal and feel joyful. Optimism is renewed! "Onye brings the soul of African Culture to celebrations and teaching. He blends the best of traditional culture and modern life styles in his work with individuals, organizations, and the world.
Onye is a celebrated world percussionist, composer, and producer and have recorded music for interactive video games and numerous CDs. He has been featured on NBC TV affiliate program Coming Together and the video and film documentaries: Of Sound & Healing, Search for Spirituality, and as well as the Wisdom Channel.
Performing in the U.S. since the early 1980’s, Onye has been featured in Billboard Magazine as musical director of the ‘O Band’, Artistic Director and Business Manager of his own performance company, The Igbote Ethnic Ensemble, and performed on numerous radio shows nationwide. His major performances include First Night Boston, Cambridge Arts Fest, Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Statue of Liberty Bicentennial Celebration (with his Igbote Dance Ensemble), and Harvard University Cultural Rhythms concert, de young Museum in California and Uetliberg Museum Arts Festival in Switzerland and Stadttheater Neuburg A.D. Donau, Germany.
His sold out concert at Humboldt State University Performance Festival electrified the John Van Duzer Theater with a celebration of human spirit. He performed a commissioned music and dance ceremony at de Young Museum, San Francisco and was a featured performer and choreographer of the Oakland Festival of the Arts, Bay Area Dance Series and Forest Meadows World Music and Dance Series.
Onye Onyemaechi is a presenter at school assemblies as speaker/ performer to promote the joy of learning, self-empowerment and encourage students’ success and their pursuit of academic excellence. Also, his message of village wisdom that fosters respect, tolerance and kindness profoundly resonates amongst teachers, administrators and parents.
He is currently on the roster of the league of Volunteers of Newark Arts Council, El Dorado Arts Council and the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz. He has also received recognition and appreciation from Sonoma County Cultural Arts Council. Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities honored Onye with the Award of Gratitude for "special recognition for outstanding participation in Family Fest 1988".
He earned a BA in Fine Arts from College of the Holy Cross. After receiving his MBA with an emphasis in international business from Boston College School of Management, Onye felt his real calling was to create and teach a blend of the best of traditional culture and modern life-styles.
While living in Cambridge in the early 1980s, he presented a monthly night of ethnic music and dance. All nationalities were invited and the evening would end with Onye drumming while hundreds of people, young and old danced and drummed along. Some of those who experienced these events studied with Onye and went on to establish "drum circles" around the country. Onye is recognized as a pioneer in using drum and ethnic dance to bring communities together.
In the April/May 1988 issue of Whole Life New England Magazine, Onye was featured as their cover story and he was profiled in the Harvard Independent in February 25, 1988. Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charities presented Onye Onyemaechi Award for " special recognition for outstanding participation in Family Fest 1988".
He has since taught at prestigious institutions, businesses and conferences including Harvard University, Holy Names College/ICCS, Esalen Institute, Omega Institute, International Conference on Business and Consciousness, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Boston College, Sonoma State University, California Academy of Sciences, College of Marin, International Conference on Shamanism and Consciousness, International Conference on Sound Healing, Kaiser Medical Center, Sutter Health Center, California Institute of Integral Studies, Elaborate Technologies, over 1,000 schools and the Stadt Theater in Germany. As adjunct faculty member he founded the Drum and Dance Society at Sonoma State University.
Onye offers for sale his CDs: Nnandi, Sophia, Primal Adventures, African Chocolate and African Sunset.
“Onye Onyemaechi is a remarkable talent. The spirit and vitality in his music bask the listener in a joyful glow.” Beth Maurence, KBAC FM
“Onye is a master of rhythm and a shaman who understands the healing powers of sound and music.” Ray Iasello, producer, Boston.