Dr. Juma Santos is a native of Cape Cod Massachusetts, born in 1947. He received a BA in Humanities from New College of California, San Francisco in 1981; an MA in African Studies/Theater Arts from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1983; an MA in New Forms/Intermedia from City College, City University, New York in 1990; certification in Traditional Folk Music of Cuba, The Escuela Nacional de Arte, Santiago and Havana, Cuba in 1996; and was awarded an Honorary PhD in Performance Education, International Institute of African and African American Studies, University Without Walls, Brooklyn, NY in 1997.

Juma Santos is an educator, instructor and lecturer on the ethnology and styles of Pan-African Drumming. Having investigated the historical development, continuity and change within the diasporas, he is an expert on the drumming traditions of Ghana, Nigeria, Cuba, Haiti and Brazil. He has traveled extensively throughout Africa, South America and the Caribbean to compile his research, which is documented through his video and still photography. Select photographs have been exhibited in the Schomberg Center for Research and Black Culture (NYC); Belchite/South Bronx: A Traditional and Transhistorical Landscape by Frances Torres; the National conference of Artists International Exhibition in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and most recently, Committed to the Image: A Half Century of Black Photographers in America, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.

Dr. Santos has served as producer/director and consulted numerous organizations in developing their programs pertaining to African Cultural Arts. Santos was instrumental in creating festivals/concerts, visual arts exhibitions, film series, and scholarly lectures. Particular projects include “Expressions Africaine”, annual month-long expo of visual, performing and literary works by artists of the African Continuum, at Fashion Moda Gallery, South Bronx, NY; and the “Day of the Drum” festival at Watts Tower Creative Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA, where he was responsible for selecting the talent for this two day festival, the first of its kind in the US. For the project and his lifetime achievement he received the International Art of Drumming Award from Mayor Tom Bradley and the City of Los Angeles.

His field work includes: the Pan-African Festival of the Arts, Algiers, Algeria, 1969; a study-tour of Nigeria, West Africa with Babatunde Olatunji, 1971; a two-year Artist-in-Residency in Ghana, West Africa under the auspices of Professor Kwabena Nketia and the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, 1973-1975; an eleven-country US State Department tour of Africa with Taj Mahal and the International Rhythm Band in 1979; attended an intensive program focusing on the folkloric music of Cuba, from 1996-1998; conducted extensive interviews with master drummers in Ghana, West Africa over the past twenty-five years; in 1999 attended the MASA conference on Marketing African Music, Dance and Theater held in Abijan, Ivory Coast, West Africa; was founding member of FARETA, one of New York’s finest centers for the music and dance of the diasporas (1994-1998).

Currently Dr. Santos holds two positions at the university of Ghana; a lecturer in the School of Performing Arts’ Music Department and Research Associate at the International Center for African Music and Dance.