Ayo Bankole is a Nigerian by birth and he was born in May 17, 1935 in Jos North central Nigeria. He was born into a musical family. His father Theopphilus Abiodun Bankole was an organist and Choirmaster in a church called St. Luke’s Anglican Church Jos. His mother was a music instructor for many years at Queens School, Ede in the present Osun State, Nigeira. The Queen school is a Federal government owned high school.
He had the opportunity of traveling abroad to study and in the late fifty’s, he went to Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. While schooling, he met Brian Edward Hurst a poet. They became friends. In 1960, Bankole turns one of Edward poem into music and this was performed at the school choral and the poem was titled ‘’CHILDREN OF THE SUN’’.
After completion of his program, he went further to add more to his music knowledge and studied at Clare College, Cambridge.
Born: May 17, 1935 in Jos North Central , Nigeria
Ayo Bankole received Rockefeller Foundation Fellowership award to study Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Bankole returned to Nigeria in 1966 and was appointed Senior Producer in Music at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, Lagos, where he worked until 1969 and left.
He later started lecturing at the School of African and Asian Studies, University of Lagos.
He worked as music educator, composer, choral conductor, performer and musicologist with independent choral groups, including the Choir of Angels (students from three prominent high schools in Lagos: Reagan Memorial, Lagos Anglican Girls Grammar School, and the Methodist Girls High School); Lagos University Musical Society; Nigerian National Musico-Cultural Society; and the Chapel of the Healing Cross Choir, all in Lagos.
He wrote a great deal of Christian liturgical music in the Yoruba language and his compositions show elements of both traditional Nigerian music and Western classical music.
He also composed theme songs for some Nigerian television drama series.
Ayo was a kind and humanitarian person and he is greatly missed by Nigerian musical community
In 1976 at the age of 41 years, Ayo Bankole died. He was murdered with his wife in Lagos by his half brother.