Michael Olatuja (he/him)
The London-born, Lagos, Nigeria-raised, New York-based electric and acoustic bassist/composer/bandleader Michael Olatuja has been one of the most inventive and in-demand bassists since the early part of this century. He has worked and recorded with more than 100 artists, including Dianna Ross, Spike Lee, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Terence Blanchard, Chris Botti, Kurt Elling, Bebe Winans, Hugh Masekela, Kylie Minogue, Lisa Stansfield, Joe Lovano, Lionel Loueke, and Laura Mvula. Broadway musical credits: Frozen, Moulin Rouge, Motown, and The Color Purple. Current projects include Diana Ross’ first album in 15 years, Thank You (2021); and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s movie directorial debut tick, tick…BOOM! on Netflix (2021). Olatuja has recorded three CD’s as a leader: Speak (2009), which won an Independent Music Awards award; The Promise by the Olatuja Project (2011); and Lagos Pepper Soup (2020). Nearly five years in the making, Olatuja’s new, 12-track CD, Lagos Pepper Soup—named after a zesty, West African meal—with lyrics mostly in Yoruba and English, and recorded in London and New York, is his most comprehensive and compelling album to date.