Obo Addy

Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


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 was immersed in the singing, dancing and percussion that accompanied Ga rituals, overseen by his priest father. However, his first professional experience came with a western-orientated group, Joe Kelly’s Band, which he joined in 1954. Playing accessible highlife for hotel and nightclubs, this grounding led to a new engagement with politician Kwame Nkrumah’s Builders’ Brigade Band in 1959. By 1961 he had moved on to the Famers’ Council Of Ghana, a band that toured widely throughout the country, educating agriculture workers through drama and music about new farming innovations. He became the troupe’s leader in 1962, but four years later Nkrumah was ousted from power, and Obo formed a new group to perform at the opening of the Continental Hotel. Situated near...

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