King Salim Ajanku, Founding Artist

Salim was born an artist and has nurtured his craft as a musician from a young age with apprenticeship, volunteerism, and societal awareness. His unique brand of cultural arts and education is rooted in the West African concept of Sankofa, reaching back to move forward. He specializes in promotion of awareness, sensitivity, and intercultural understanding through drum, dance, and theater education. Salim has more than 15 years of experience, has developed and implemented socially progressive arts curricula. He has worked in collaboration with Young Audiences of MD, Baltimore City Public School Systems, Sankofa Center for Cultural Enrichment, WombWorks, Inc, and the University of Colorado. In his extensive trainings and travels he has studied and worked with master musicians such as Abdou Konte, Mamady Keita, Famadou Konate, Baile McKnight, Bill Caudle, and Carlos Moore.


“Salim possesses a prodigious creativity and talent in the execution and performance of both traditional and contemporary musical forms… He has a powerful eye for recognizing music’s metaphorical implications and multiple functions in many social and educational contexts. He teaches and leads groups of students, young and old, into an engaged practice and application of creativity with a mastery that is beyond his years.”  Onye Ozuzu, Chair, Dept. of Dance, Columbia College