Ivan Akansiima, multi-instrumentalist was born in Jinja, a trade city in Eastern Uganda where he was Inspired by touring Christian bands that were hosted by his family. Ivan began playing drums in their church band by age seven. Orphaned at an early age, his sister supported Ivan’s passion for music, even as he taught himself how to play Western music mixing it with Ugandan indigenous folklore on multiple instruments.
Upon receiving his first jazz record, Ivan delved into his new passion (jazz), further teaching himself music skills by ear. By his mid-20s, he was touring with various bands across the globe professionally in forty countries and all fifty of the United States, and across Canada. While on tour in 2010 with the Ugandan band, Soul Beat Africa, he was invited to study Western music formally at Lake Michigan College, where he earned his Associates Degree. He has since earned his Bachelors degree at Hope College, and Masters of Music at Western Michigan University.