CELEBRATING NIGERIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC GREATS – Mr Batik

ARTISTE OF THE WEEK – Mr Batik

When Fela was released from jail by Justice Okoro Idogwu in 1986, he went to Jazz 38 where the Extended Family Band was playing, to enjoy a cool evening of Jazz Music and later became their guest every Friday. It was through Fela’s visits that he met ‘Biodun, whom he really appreciated, due to his versatility on the Trumpet back then. The artiste of this week was a member of that band, along with Jide Omidiran and Ayo Bankole Jnr, they formed the youngest members of Jazz 38.

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Young’ Biodun posing for a picture before a show

In 1989, Fela took his band for a Tour in the US and Bola Twins, his lead trumpeter absconded. He immediately sent for young ‘Biodun, who became Fela’s lead Trumpeter in the Egypt 80 band in 1989, along with other young guys in the band then; Soji, Keji Hamilton, Solomon Bamgbose, and others.

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‘Biodun playing with Fela’s Egypt 80 Band

As the youngest male member of the band, and because he could read Music, Fela became fond of ‘Biodun. According to him, Fela appreciated that because he usually wrote out his new numbers in staff notation and the very few that could read Music made his rehearsals faster.

In the Egypt 80 band, ‘Biodun received a salary of N75, he was always travelling to Lagos to play on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. The pay was good, at least he was living on that after paying N4 tax and making savings. Bus ride to Ibadan was between N3 and N4 per trip, so he still had a lot of change. Big boy! you would say.

He has since played in so many bands, from 1986 till date, some of which he has lost count of.

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Now Mr Batik, with his band in concert

A Native of Ibadan, Abiodun Adebiyi Benjamin joined both the choir and the Boy’s Brigade (2nd Ibadan Company) in 1970. In the Boy’s Brigade, he learnt to play the snare drum in 1977, the Trumpet in 1979, the Organ (harmonium) in 1981 and other instruments later.

Growing up was really tough for young ‘Biodun, as a music student at The Polytechnic lbadan, a chorister at St Paul’s Yemetu, Ibadan and an employed Trumpeter at CAC, Agbala Itura. But he combined it all, at least to make ends meet.

Upon graduation, from The Polytechnic Ibadan, ‘Biodun had played for several bands and had carved a niche for himself. He became a founding member of the MUSON Symphony Orchestra, under the Directorship of Louise Jones in the mid 90s, and later an Assistant Organist at St. Paul’s Anglican Church Ibadan in 1997, then the Assistant Director/Acting Director of Music at St. Paul’s Breadfruit, Lagos.

Fondly called Mr Batik, he is a Trumpet/Brass Instructor at Lagos State University where he also bagged a degree in Communication Studies.

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He has attended several conferences and seminars abroad to broaden his knowledge on the trumpet literature, nuances and pedagogy.

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Mr Batik, third from the left, on the last row

Please put your hands together for this Chorister, Organist, Music Director, Trumpet Instructor and Band leader, Abiodun Benjamin Adebiyi a.k.a Mr Batik.

I CELEBRATE YOU TODAY.

Ifediora, Obinna Maurice
(Baritone)

Musical Society of Nigeria
8/9 Marina, Onikan Lagos.
(±234) 708-708-6669
(+234) 706-338-3135

dasuGarboi@yahoo.com
obislim.baritone@yahoo.com

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16 thoughts on “CELEBRATING NIGERIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC GREATS – Mr Batik”

    1. I have listened to his music particularly, the song written by my lecturer, Mr. Seun Owoaje titled, ” Ile ni maa ti se keresi” meaning I’ll spend my Christmas a home. Mr. batik did the instrumentals and since then, I have loved his dexterity on the horn. if you won’t mind, I can forward that music to your mail or any of your contact.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not surprise,
    He’s a well known jazz player and he has a lot of credits recorded to his achievements.
    He’s one of the best music director I have met so far and he deserves a standing ovation.
    One thing baffles me having known him personally over the years that despite his association with Fela yet he doesn’t smoke which is difficult to believe but the plain truth.
    Qudos to him, and more recognitions and awards to come.
    Bim.

    Like

  2. Biodun is a great musician! I usually tell people that, arguably, he is the only certified and the most celebrated Jazz trumpeter alive today in Nigeria. I am highly privileged to be his colleague at the Lagos State University.

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  3. Oga mi, Egbon mi,Ore mi Batik is a complete musician of repute, one who has paid all dues in this field and beyond. He is a father and mentor to many musicians, when he sneezes almost everyone catches cold. I doff my hat and say “Baba oooo!!!”
    More wisdom to lead on I pray for you.
    👍🏽👌🏽.

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  4. A great master indeed. He was with us at Obafemi Awolowo University some years back and I left everything I was doing to see that man that has the tone better than I do. To my amazement, I saw a man who I thought should not be playing again at that age, playing trumpet and at the same time accompanying himself on the keys. what a surprise. My boss, I respect your anointing sir. keep on mentoring us sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mr Biodun Adebiyi has proved to be worth celebrating. He is a good teacher both in music theory and performance. He is as well very humorous and can really engage someone in a very constructive and educative discussion for as long as time permits. This is because he is adequately experienced in the field of music. I feel privileged to have been under his tutelage.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember Batik’s versatility especially when he played at Jazzville at Onike. His solo on Abe Igi (in the minor) was really awesome. Keep it up bro

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  7. He is a beutiful musician. I still cannot forget 6 years ago when he accompanied me in singing ‘Let the bright seraphim’ at a Church funeral…..his dexterity was anazing as we didnt even rehearse together beforehand. Its an honour to be you friend Batik.

    Liked by 1 person

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