Chi Amen-Ra

Rhythms of the Afrikan Diaspora

Official Website of Detroit Based Percussionist - Chinelo 'Chi' Amen-Ra


Concert of Colors, 2013

Chi Amen-Ra is a percussionist focusing on rhythms of the African diaspora. He was born into the Ngoma Za Amen-Ra New Afrikan Cultural Theatre, and African culture has grounded the Detroit-born artist in a deep and creative interest in his heritage. But beyond the personal significance, the drum music of Africa has also given Chi a powerful sense of the oneness of humanity. Through the healing power of music, he hopes to remedy some of that which divides the human family. An alumnus of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor holding a Bachelor of Arts in African Studies, Chi has worked with several colleges and universities including U of M, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Oakland University, Baldwin Wallace University, Marygrove College and Columbia College Chicago. Chi has also worked with several community organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Arab American National Museum, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the GM Foundation, the Council of Michigan Foundations and VSA Michigan. He has also serviced the Michigan Good Food Summit and Detroit Homecoming, as well as collaborating extensively with the Detroit Public Schools. In recognition of his work in the Metro Detroit community, Chi has been the recipient of the Wow Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Performance” and the prestigious Kresge Arts Fellowship. In addition to his work in academia Chi continues to study via the Master Drummer tradition, learning to play various percussive instruments from master musicians of the African diaspora including West Africa, Central Africa, Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. Chi’s performances include 7 appearances at the Metro Detroit Concert of Colors Festival, 4 appearances on WDIVs ‘Live in the D,’ 3 appearances on Metro Arts TV Detroit, 2 appearances at TEDx and a performance for Bedrock Detroit at the new Hudson’s site groundbreaking. He has shared the stage with prominent artists such as Talib Kweli, John Legend, India Arie, Aretha Franklin, Tommy The Clown, Mike Ellison, jessica Care moore, Guba Mark Stone, and internationally renowned Dagomba dancer Sulley Imoro. Chi is also honored to have represented Detroit during Super Bowl XL, performing with the legendary Stevie Wonder. Most recently, MQA Ltd. selected him as part of their marketing campaign in London, UK. Currently Chi is the African Ensemble instructor at the Detroit Institute of Music Education. He also assisted in forming the first African dance company in Wayne State University’s history, “To Sangana”- serving as Principal Accompanist and Music Director.



Video Credits:

  • Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History's Liberation Film Series. Music Composer for the documentary "Raz Baaba Aaron Ibn Pori Pitts: Portraits of a Revolutionary Artist"


CD Credits:

  • Alex Way - "Phases" (Percussion)                                   2016 Alex Way Music


  • J. Canady – “Expressions Of Me” (Percussion)            2015 AMAC Records



  • World Dance Workout CD: Live Percussion Music For Dance Volume 1 2010  (Djembe, Conga, Chekere and small percussion.