2013 Black Excellence Awards Music Honoree Adekola Adedapo

March 15, 2013
Adekola Adedapo Alverno College

Adekola Adedapo
Alverno College


Jazz musician. Actress. Story-teller. There are many ways to describe Adekola Adepado. Currently she is the Program Coordinator of the Culture Center at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. Growing up with a background in theater, Adekola knew she would enter the entertainment business early – making her stage debut at age 4 in her grandmother’s theater in Chicago.

Chicago is home for Adekola, but she now calls Milwaukee home too, being here on a steady basis since 1994. Adekola spent some time in college at Michigan State studying speech, English and theater, but finished her degree in community leadership development from Alverno College. Although Adekola has a very active career in the arts, she has also worked several “day jobs” in community organizing, education and social services.

In the arts, she is known for her powerful, soul-stirring performances. She sings in a jazz quartet, performs dance and for the last 18 years, she has been involved in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra A.C.E. program, where she performs jazz in 1st grade classrooms at various Milwaukee Public Schools throughout the year. Adekola has been in radio, involved in plays and producing. She also volunteers her time with Ko-Thi Dance Company and Repairers of the Breach homeless shelter.

Adekola has 3 children and 7 grandchildren that range in age from 2 to 18. She is a priest in the Yoruba religion which is indigenous to West Africa. She spent some time in the late ‘70s in a village modeled after African traditions and customs named Oyotunji in South Carolina

Adekola grew up in a household of natural born leaders that instilled in her to be the best at whatever she did and respect herself because she represents more than just herself. Adekola uses her work in the arts and her ability to inspire a new generation of jazz musicians and increase their knowledge.