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Uploaded on Dec 25, 2009
Senior Ghanaian drum master Yacub Addy performs with his exceptional ensemble Odadaa! and improvises with jazz titan Wynton Marsalis. Excerpts from "Congo Square" at the 07 Montreal Jazz Festival and "Africa Jazz" at Columbia University, NYC, 5/03.
"Congo Square" is the ground-breaking 2-hour co-composition by Yacub Addy and Wynton Marsalis that celebrates the historic Congo Square in New Orleans. The only place in America where African slaves were allowed to perform their own music and dance in the 1700s-1800s, it established the roots of American music by providing a means for African music to enter and mingle with American forms.
An exceptional ensemble of artists from Ghana, Odadaa! includes drummers, instrumentalists, singers and dancers of the Ga ethnic group, and a single American-born singer.
Odadaa!'s founder and leader is the irrepressible elder Ga drum master Yacub Addy, a hip and cosmopolitan traditionalist who bucked the status quo to live a life of culture. A drummer, composer and choreographer, Yacub is a master of traditional classics of the Ga people and creator of new works rooted in tradition.
Yacub is senior among the renowned Addy family of drummers from Accra, Ghana, the elder brother of Obo Addy and Mustapha Tettey Addy, the uncle of Aja Addy and many other performers.
Yacub was the first to stage genuinely traditional music and dance in Ghana in the 1950s. Determined to present his tradition on the world's stages, his art took him from Ghana to Europe and America, where he created the acclaimed performance ensemble Yacub Addys Odadaa!, described by the New York Times as an "irresistible, hypnotically charged, earthy and stately treasure."
Addy's work preserves and advances the vibrant musical and movement heritage of Ghana-- it is the power of ancient rhythm breathing new life into the 21st century.
Also a respected educator, Yacub Addy lectures in the Music Department at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.