A native of Toronto, Canada, Kola Owolabi is Associate Professor of Organ at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There he teaches courses in organ, improvisation and church music. From 2007 to 2013, he taught at Syracuse University and served as University Organist. He also held positions as Sub Dean and Dean of the Syracuse Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
He holds degrees in organ performance and choral conducting from McGill University, Montreal, Yale University and Eastman School of Music. His former teachers have included Bruce Wheatcroft, John Grew, Martin Jean, Thomas Murray, Hans Davidsson and William Porter.
In 2002, Dr. Owolabi was awarded second prize and audience prize at the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.
Dr. Owolabi is a published composer and has received commissions from the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. His solo organ composition Dance was selected for the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Competition in August 2013, where all of the finalists performed this composition.
He was a featured performer at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Boston in June 2014, performing three recitals at Methuen Memorial Music Hall. He also performed a concert for the Organ Historical Society Convention in Syracuse in August 2014. He performs regularly as organist and harpsichordist with the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra, based in Miami, FL.