For Tony Artis, aka “Baba Amoah,” drum-making combines his interests in music, aesthetics, and Nigerian Yoruba culture. His craft allows him to have a greater connection to the music he plays, because he believes that the drum takes on the maker’s voice.  A native of Kokomo, Indiana, Tony has lived in Indianapolis since 1978. He began learning trumpet at age 12, bass guitar at age 14, and African percussion in 1990, and his studies have taken him across the U.S., Ghana, West Africa and Cuba. He owner/operator of Amoah’s African Drum Works and Coal Bin Productions and is a teaching artist with Arts for Learning and a Master Artist with Art Mix (formerly VSA Arts of Indiana), enabling all people to experience art. He is the founder and artistic director of Ori Afro Jazz Ensemble and co-founder of Sancocho Music and Dance Collage, in which he performs alongside his wife, son, and daughter. In 2004, Artis also became known as Babalawo Awodele Ifasina when he reached an advanced level in the Afro-Cuban spiritual system known as Lukumi.

Saturday, September 17:  Lotus in the Park
Schedule subject to change.

Indiana is celebrating its 200th birthday throughout 2016. As part of the statewide Bicentennial Celebration, Traditional Arts Indiana will feature the works of four Indiana instrument makers as well as the traveling exhibit “Indiana Folk Art: 200 Years of Tradition and Innovation.” This 24-panel traveling exhibit, includes the work of more than 45 artists from throughout Indiana. At Lotus in the Park, TAI will showcase four master instrument makers dedicated to diverse traditional art forms found in our state.  Artisans include Bruce Taggart (Mandolin/Fiddle Builder), Clint Bear (Guitar Maker), Bill Berg (Dulcimer Builder), and Tony Artis (African Drum Maker). In addition to informative panels and ongoing artisan demonstrations, the exhibit also features workshops with each of the artisans at the Education Pavilion throughout the day. Lotus is proud to partner with Traditional Arts Indiana through the Indiana Bicentennial Commission to commemorate the history and future of arts and culture in the state.bicentennial-IAC-combo-web

(Image credit: 812 The Magazine of Southern Indiana)