Olu Dara is a multi-talented entertainer who has been performing since he was eight years old. Born (1941) in Natchez, Miss, Olu landed in New York in 1963 after a stint in the US Navy which took him all over the world.
Stranded in Brooklyn (as Olu sings in his tune, Neighborhoods), Olu turned to music to survive. During the 1970s and '80s, he gained a reputation as a trumpet/cornet player who could handle all aspects of jazz. On the one hand he could perform with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1973- 74), but he could also handle the demands of the free- flowing avant-garde style which formed the basis of the New York Loft scene of that period. But jazz was not the only musical style he was involved with, and gradually he turned away from it as increasingly he began to lead his own ensembles.