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highlife

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Alex Konadu

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Kumasi, Asante, Ghana. Billed variously as ‘One Man Thousand’ or ‘The One Man Battalion’, those nicknames attest to Konadu’s phenomenal musical abilities. A purist in his dedication to...

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C.K. Mann

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Charles Kofi Amankwas Mann, Accra, Ghana. Singer, guitarist and saxophonist Mann was a member of the Sweet Talks before setting out on a solo career singing what he describes ...

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Crentsil, A.B., And The Ahenfo Band

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 1950, Saltpond, Ghana. After attending school in Takoradi Crentsil initially sought employment as an apprentice electrician with Ghana Railways, as his father had done before him....

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Dede, Amakye, And The Apollo Kings International Band

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Dan Amakye Dede, 1957, Agogo, Asante, Ghana. Before embarking on his solo career with the Apollo Kings in 1980, Dede had worked with the Kumapim Royals from 1975 onwards ...

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Dele Abiodun

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 30 March 1948, Bendel, Nigeria. Resisting his parents’ plans for a career in medicine, ‘Admiral’ Dele Abiodun used his school fees to enrol at the Young Pioneers College in ...

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Dzadzeloi

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

As with the better known Wulomei, Dzadzeloi were part of the early to mid-70s acoustic highlife revival which briefly swept Ghana. Typically, their sound was characterised by sweet female...

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Ebenezer Obey

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 27 August 1942, Abeokuta, Nigeria. Obey’s earliest musical experiences were as a member of the local church choir while a child in Abeokuta - his parents, both devout Christians ...

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E.T. Mensah

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Emmanuel Teteh Mensah, 31 May 1919, Accra, Ghana, d. 19 July 1996. Known throughout West Africa as ‘the King of Highlife’, Mensah was the single greatest influence on the ...

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George Darko

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 12 January 1951, Akropong, Ghana. The usual route taken by Ghanaian musicians wishing to forge an international reputation or make use of the sophisticated studio technology of the west...

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Guy Warren

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Kofi Ghanaba, 1923, Accra, Ghana. Warren was a visionary musician so far ahead of his time that he was for most of his career obliged to scrape a living ...

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Hedzoleh Soundz

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

Based in Accra, Ghana, Hedzoleh Soundz were the first resident band at Faisal Helwani’s legendary nightclub, The Napoleon, during 1973. Hedzoleh (which means Freedom in the Ga language)...

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Hi-Life International

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

One of the most prominent London-based bands during the UK’s mid-80s African music explosion, Hi-Life were founded by the Ghanaian guitarist Kwabena Oduro Kwarteng in 1982, playing a roots...

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Jazira, Orchestre

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

Of the several dozen bands that emerged in the UK during that country’s sizeable growth of interest in African music during the early and mid-80s, Jazira were the least roots ...

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Jewel Ackah

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. February 1945, Nzima, Ghana. Ackah started his career as a professional footballer, but went on to use his powerful, soul-tinged vocals with the cover-version band the Pick Ups in ...

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Kwaa Mensah

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 1920, Lagos, Nigeria, d. 1991, Ghana. Alternatively known as either ‘the godfather of palm-wine highlife ’ or simply ‘the king of palm-wine’, Mensah was instructed on the guitar by ...

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Lanrewaju Adepoju

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Nigeria. As fuji swept through Nigeria and neighbouring countries, supplanting the traditional popularity of highlife and juju, many artists switched allegiance. One of the lesser known...

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Majek Fashek

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Majekodunmi Fasheke, Lagos, Nigeria. Fashek is one of the increasing number of African artists to be drawn to the music of the Caribbean, specifically reggae, rather than indigenous...

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Mbarga Nico, Prince

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Nicholas Mbarga, 23 August 1950, Abakaliki, Nigeria, d. 24 June 1997. Vocalist and guitarist Mbarga, founder and leader of Rocafil Jazz, was one of Nigeria’s few convincing highlife...

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Monday John

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. Monday Olufemi John, c.1945, Lagos, Nigeria. John came to music late, having started his professional career as a fine-art illustrator. However, he played guitar intermittently, and in...

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Obo Addy

Overview page. Subjects: Music.

B. 1936, Accra, Ghana. Together with his celebrated brothers, Yacub and Mustapha Tettey Addy, Obo is part of the Addy family’s rich tradition of Ga drumming. With his siblings, he ...

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