Atu Harold Murray
Harold Atu Murray is an extraordinary musician, sculptor, philosopher, and health therapist. His commitment to the eternal quest for world peace and internal harmony is the quintessential model of artist as citizen. Atu has performed with such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ola Tunji, Chief Bay, Ahmad Jamal, Sun Ra, Dinah Washington, Randy Weston, Ray Charles, Big Maybelle, and the AACM. He plays flute, earth drum, air drums, stick drums, dono drum, ethnic winds, shekeree and African Thumb piano. He has carve over 4,000 sculptures that are displayed throughout the world; Ghana, Chicago, Alabama, St. Thomas, Guinea.
One of his early mentors was the legendary Captain Walter Dyet from Dusable High School in Chicago. Atu was an assistant band leader and performer with Cap's High Jinks. His early musical training began with piano then baritone sax and flute and eventually Latin conga drums. These early lessons would eventually lead to his life's calling as a master African drummer. He played all the famous clubs in Chicago during the 50's. The Trinon, Peps, New Club Delisa, Regal theater, etc. In 1960 he moved to New York and marveled audiences at the Apollo, Five Spot, Slugs, etc. From 69' to 74' he moved to Ghana, West Africa where he performed and furthered his studies in traditional music, sculpture, and philosophy.
Upon returning to Chicago he established the first African American "Traditional African Music and Philosophy Society", "Sun Drummer". Atu sat on the board of many Arts Councils throughout the world and teaches and lectures at many schools and universities throughout the United States. Atu believes that his sculpting is the crystallization of things learned and experienced through life. He says, "The more I learn from this life, the more advancements will be expressed through my art." He has recorded with Ella Jenkins, Randy Weston, Big Black and Kahil El Zabar and will soon publish his first book.