Yemo Nunu's Corner
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© 2010 Ghanaba afro-jazz
Jazz music took shape in New Orleans
during the 1890s. It was developed from a mixture of Spiritual and field
hollers of plantation slave workers, Ragtime, marching band music, and
the deep down growl of the blues.
The Birth of Afro-Jazz
Afro-Jazz is Jazz music that has been heavily influenced
by African rhythms. It was invented by Kofi Ghanaba, formerly known as
Guy Warren of Ghana. Although African Music was popular, it was Ghanaba
who fused African rhythms with American Jazz Creating the Afro-Jazz music.
Ghanaba developed his own African drum set by first adding the conga and
then a traditional hand drum with his African Sounds Ensemble in New York
in the 1950s.
Kofi Ghanaba eventually recast the entire setup by employing traditional
drums of the Akan people of Ghana, two large fontomfrom drums set on the
ground as bass drums with foot pedals, two or more atumpan as toms on
stands to his left and right, and an apentemma hand drum directly in front.
He plays the atumpan and apentemma with v-angled wooden sticks traditionally
used for master drums such as atumpan.
“I left the Gold Coast for Liberia and on
to the United States of America; with the intention of never returning
to Africa. On arrival in the U.S, I became more aware that the jazz music
played by the African-Americans Originated from Africa, so as an African
I decided not to play THEIR JAZZ but rather to emphasize on its African
origins which would place me in a class of my own”
Ghanaba, The Divine Drummer, was the FIRST Ghanain musician to introduce
the TALKING DRUM, into Jazz World!
"Ghanaba’s drums beat on to an enchanted
life; your sense melt to the sounds, as brooks that runs through the ray
of the sun; soft as the satin fringe that shades the eyelids of mother
Africa’s maids; and wanders somewhere-in desolate wind-swept space,
in a twilight land of lasting bliss".
He was the first to introduce the ancient African
(Ghanaian) Drums FONTOMFROM, using varied African Rhythms to replace standard
American jazz drums and its rhythms
He was the first to draw a HISTORICAL LINK between the various African
American jazz drums styles to their African origins, in music, as well
as in written form.
He was the first jazz drummer world wide to play the African fontomfrom
jazz drums in concert at the Panasonic village jazz festival, New York
City August 1998.
He was the first to transfer African American jazz onto the African fontomfrom
He was the first Ghanaian jazz musician to have his composition “loved
mastery” recorded by major African American jazz musician pianist
He was the first ever in Ghanaian history to have used his hands and feet
to play a seven piece fontomfrom drums ensemble as a Virtuoso-soloist.
He was the first African musician to internationalist African Jazz.
He was the first world wide to give an African drums interpretation of
classical European composition as Beethoven.
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