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Peter Somuah Group High-life (Album Release) Album Release

Highlife has a unique sound with a distinctive finger-picking style on the guitar, minimalist yet groovy bass lines, percussive keyboard patterns, soulful melody lines through the brass section and a lot of emphasis on rhythm. The opening song of the album, We give thanks, is played by Pat Thomas, also known as “the golden voice of Africa”. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, the first musician in the world to incorporate rap into highlife music, appears on Chop chop. And 93-year-old Koo Nimo, a leading highlife musician and the first Ghanaian to have his music recorded on a CD, talks about the origins of the highlife genre.

On the ten-track album, Peter Somuah, who grew up in highlife bands, mixes elements of the highlife genre with jazz, creating what he calls “highlife jazz”. The album emulates the vintage sound of the highlife era, with a modern touch. It also connects Ghana's older and younger generations of musicians. In addition to the members of his Rotterdam band, Somuah invited young Ghanaian musicians for the album. Singer Lamisi Akuka can be heard on African Continent and brings soulful musical influences from the north of Ghana, while Bright Osei Baffour provides traditional highlife riffs on the guitar and Thomas Botchway adds grooves on the talking drum.

More than on his previous two albums, Somuah also reflects on the political context in which he grew up. In Mental Slavery, Somuah sings about the remaining psychological impact of colonialism. After all, the name of the highlife genre refers to the fact that originally mainly the colonial elite in Ghana ("high life") could enjoy the music. And in Chop chop the artist Ambolley plays tricks on greedy political leaders.

The album delivers heartfelt messages of social justice, healing and gratitude, but never fails to encourage the listener to groove along.

All dates

Datum Tijd Locatie Ticketlink
Fri 22 Nov 20:30 de Doelen Buy tickets

Friday 22 November

From € 10,00 tot € 16,00
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