Judy Henderson (Fatu Lady Drummer) began her journey into West African Dancer and culture with the Irepo African Dancers and Drummers from 1987-1992) of Denver under the Direction of Baba Adetunji Joda (ibase) learning the chants, drumming and dances of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. She also worked with Irepo’s sister dance company; “Sankofa”, in Colorado Springs, CO. Fatu was the Musical Director of the Harambee Dancers of the University of Colorado, Boulder (2000-2006) under the Direction of Leticia Williams. Harambee is a recipient of the El Pomar Foundation award for excellence. In the year 2000, Fatu founded and directed “Jambalaya Sistah’s Drum and Dance Company” and performed and taught West African music and culture across the Country. Fatu currently teaches enrichment classes in West African music and culture in Denver Public schools. An initiated Priest in the Yoruba Spiritual Practice of Ifa, Fatu also teaches the intersection of African American and West African History. I began my drumming and dance studies in 1986 with the Damballah Dance Company in Boulder, CO. I concurrently began to study traditional songs and dances of the Yoruba people of Nigeria with the legendary Baba Adetunji Joda in Denver, CO. At that time, women were still persecuted for playing traditional African drums and I was an anomaly. I have studied numerous forms of West African drumming traditions with indigenous teachers living in America. I also traveled to Africa twice to study Drumming and Dance with Master Dancer Marie Basse-Wiles of Senegal and Master Drummer Abdoul Doumbia of Mali. In the year 2000 I developed Jambalaya Sistah’s Drum and Dance ensemble and performed and taught traditional djembe music throughout the country. I simultaneously encouraged women to drum as an act of personal empowerment.