Born in Liberia, West Africa, Teli is the Musical Director and lead percussionist for The Magic of African Rhythm. He teaches drum class for adults and youth throughout North Carolina. He has traveled the U.S. and West Africa studying percussions and kora with masters. Awarded Best Original Music 2012 for his work on The Brothers Size at Manbites Dog Theater by Indy Weekly Magazine, his kora playing was recorded for the score of I Love My Hair On Good Days Then Again When it’s Defiant and Impressive in March of the same year. Teli was most recently was featured on Kim Arrington’s sophomore album Getting II Yes.
Mabinti has been dancing all of her life, touring and performing with dance companies in NYC and abroad. Mabinti is a master Balafon and Ngoni player. She is currently recording a new album. She play djembe and dunduns for with Valerie Naranjo, The African American Dance Ensemble, and many more!
Aya has been a dancer and drummer with The Magic of African Rhythm since 2005, and is currently the company’s Managing Director. A 2012-2013 Emerging Artist Grant recipient, Aya has choreographed for the some of the Triangle’s best theatrical productions last year, most notably The Parchman Hour, I Love My Hair and The Brother’s Size. Aya is the co-creator of Hayti’s Historic Hayti Walking Tour: Fayetteville Street.
Baba was Design Director at Mwanza Textiles in Mwanza, Tanzania. He has exhibited his beautiful abstract and figurative paintings all over the world: Africa, Europe, New York, and Washington D.C. He is a percussionist adding to the rhythms that vibrate throughout TMOAR performances!
Maisha (Mama) Shabu
Maisha (Mama) Shabu has been telling stories and teaching children to use their imagination when learning important life lessons for over two decades. She is a trained musician and through vocals, instruments, and one’s own inner rhythm, Maisha helps her students to access their creative gifts. Maisha is currently living their dream in Gbanga West African on a 10-acre farm. Maisha and Baba Shabu have published a book Kpawo- The Bridge, How to Re-connect with Your African Spirit a travel guide for those wishing to return and reconnect to the MotherLand.