Kola Ogunkoya is a Nigerian America Afrobeat musician who uses the term "Afro Gbedu" to describe his style of music, which includes jazz, highlife, Jùjú, funk and traditional Yoruba music.
Kola was born in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria but was of Yoruba background, the son of an itinerant police officer. After moving from Iboland to Lagos, he attended Iponri Estate High School & Okota Community High School, a tough environment. He was a successful amateur boxer as a teenager, but due to opposition to his pursuing this career from his father turned to music, singing and playing trumpet in his local church. He plays an array of instruments including saxophone - soprano, alto, tenor and baritone, trumpet, fluger horn, and slide trombone.
He was influenced by artists such as Orlando Julius Ekemode, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Dr Victor Abimbola Olaiya, Eddy Okonta Obi of Trumpet, Dayo Kujore, King Sunny Ade and many other Nigerian musicians with Authentic African music, for two years he played with Dr Abimbola Olaiya in All star Band at Stadium Hotel as a Trumpeter, At age 18 he formed his own band in Lagos. Kola and his 15-piece Afro jazz Ensemble, which includes female dancers, has performed all over the globe. He went to USA in 1996 where he had a successful tour. On return to Nigeria he opened a cultural club for Art and Music in Opebi, Allen, Lagos. called GBEDU MUSIC VILLAGE.