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A Little History

Makinto established his first music center in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1987 at the age of 24 (Villa McIntosh). After immigrating to the United States in 1999, Makinto and his wife Mukarabe lived in New York and New Jersey, performing locally and globally as well as being involved in humanitarian work at the United Nations. Four years later, the Makintos spent eleven months traveling across the southern United States in a travel trailer on a spiritual journey following God, holding worship events, serving many churches and finally arriving and settling in Palos Verdes.


One day in 2005, a good friend and neighbor asked Makinto if he was willing to give flute and piano lessons to her daughter. By 2008, Makinto had five students and, in collaboration with the worship ministry of Peninsula Community Church, began to teach out of that church.


Meanwhile, Makinto started to become locally known through children's shows and assemblies he  performed at local schools and libraries, such as “We Shall Overcome,” US history told through the evolution of African American music; “The International School Bus, an autobiographical journey through international music;” and “TeRRiFiCC,” which highlights the six pillars of character.

Students kept streaming in, and by 2011, Makinto’s twenty-five students needed more space!. God opened up an opportunity, and on September 1, 2011, Joyful Music & Arts opened its doors at 640 Silver Spur Road in Rolling Hills Estates, CA with a mission of being a creative space where music can be learned and expressed in a joyful and motivating environment. Today, JOMA has between 70 and 90 students on a regular week, a staff of 5 teachers and teaching a broad spectrum of instrumental and vocal music.

Director & Founder

George Makinto

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