Sunday 12 May 2013

Leaving Accra...

Leaving Accra today for the Volta Region. It has been music, music, music, all this week. We have not even blogged about all that we have seen. As I write this, I am listening to a full-on gospel church that began at 8am this morning. They rent space here at Yiri Lodge every Sunday and the congregation is super dressed up and singing fantastic gospel music in the local language Twi, as well as English accompanied by a great (and loud) combo of keyboards, guitar, bass and drum kit. No sleeping in on Sunday!

Last Thursday night we all went to the campus to see the end of term performance by students at the drama/dance department. Very impressive.

Yesterday evening we had a private performance and hands-on demo of some contemporary traditional music at the Lodge. I invited Atente and the Warriors, an Ewe family originally from Togo.  My contact was Kofi Agbo who plays all over Accra in addition to his family band. They brought Kpanlogo drums, atenteben flute, aslatua and axatse shakers , a gome drum (like a cahon but with a skin head and originally from Jamaica), and balafon. Such a beautiful combo together. They played several pieces then let the students try out some of the instruments. 

Kofi Agbo then led us on a “five minute” (read 25 minute) walk to East Legon to a wonderful restaurant and club called Chez Afrique, an institution here in Accra. A fantastic band played virtually without breaks, including a great trumpet player, which we have not seen in any bands yet.  We ate some food at the outdoor patio, including gari fotor and octopus and guinea fowl kebabs. And danced a bunch (of course!!!).  Kofi danced like a wild man, and a couple of his brothers sat in with the band.  It was a seriously hip scene for our last night. 

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