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Joakim Lartey was born in Ghana, West Africa. He is the first son of ace Ghanaian sportscaster and journalist Joe Lartey ("Over to you Joe Lartey" of Ghana fame) He grew up in Ghana's capital, Accra and was immersed in the music of the streets and countryside surrounding Accra. He was exposed to the music and rhythms of many cultural groups that per formed and taught at places such as The Achimota School and the Institute of African Studies in Legon, Ghana He had many mentors. He attended Prempeh College in Kumasi, Ghana the capital of Ashanti culture where he was exposed to the traditional music of the Ashantis. He lived on the West Coast of the United States as an exchange student and played regularly with rock and stage bands. He returned to Ghana to finish school and study more music. He soon returned to the US and graduated from Vassar College where he studied biology and ethnomusicology. He played in several jazz bands on and off campus. After Vassar, he studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York under the guidance of a diverse range of master artists including Karl Berger, Colin Walcott, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Ingrid Sertso, Jack DeJohnette, Alhaji Bai Konte and others...

He was the lead vocalist and percussionist of trailblazing Woodstock-based Afro-funk band, Futu Futu.

He has played with Jack DeJohnette, Baba Olatunji, Natalie Merchant, John Hall, Phoebe Legere, Kali Fasteau, Sumi Tonooka among many others…

He has worked with innovative and original theater groups like Hudson River Playback Theater and Arm Of The Sea Theater.

Joakim is an audio and studio enthusiast. He produces his music in a computer-assisted studio environment. He plays an assortment of electronic and acoustic drums and percussion instruments…congas, bongos, ancestral basses, balaphone, DrumKat trigger pads, miscellaneous hand percussion instruments and voice...

He has facilitated rhythm workshops in the US, Canada and Jamaica and performs in a wide variety of settings like schools, colleges, community centers and performing arts centers.

He currently serves on The Ulster County Human Rights Commission.
He is a well-regarded mediator and conflict manager and works with schools and communities around New York State.