Francis is based in Oakland, CA and teaches at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and at schools and institutions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He also teaches in correctional facilities through the California Arts-In-Corrections program.
Francis is a traditional drummer and teacher from Accra, Ghana. Born and raised in the melting pot neighborhood of New Town, Francis grew up in an environment bursting with the sights and sounds of Ghana's many ethnic groups.
From a young age, Francis was enthralled with the music he heard at traditional gatherings near his home. As a teen, he joined the Brotherhood Cultural Troupe, lead by Professor Johnson Kemeh, in the adjacent suburb of Alajo. He initially started as a dancer and support drummer but was quickly promoted to lead drummer of the group.
In 1996, at the young age of 18, Francis earned a position in the Ghana Dance Ensemble at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana. In 1997, he transitioned to the university's School of Performing Arts to become a drumming instructor and dance accompanist, where he remained until he relocated abroad in 2015. During his almost two decades at the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts, Francis taught Ghanaian drumming to hundreds of students from around the world and mentored many of Ghana's up-and-coming young artists. He also connected with professional musicians and other visitors for private lessons and assisted graduate students from the US working on Masters and Ph.D. dissertations. Francis’ students have included people of all ages, from primary school to retirees, and all skill levels, from complete beginners to professional percussionists.
Francis is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has taught, conducted workshops, and performed at universities around North America including Tufts University, Brandeis University, Wesleyan University, Stony Brook University, Binghamton University, Mount Holyoke College, UMass Amherst, University of Oregon, Emmanuel College, University of North Texas, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, University of San Francisco, Mills College, San Jose State University, McGill University, Manchester Community College, and De Anza College. He has toured Canada with the Juno-nominated band Mr. Something Something and has performed with Mohammed Alidu’s Bizung Family Band around the US and at the Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Valencia, Spain.