Peter Somuah Group - Jamboree Jazz
Peter Somuah Group
Jazz Funk
Peter Somuah Group

Anton De Bruin keyboards · Danny Rombout percussion · Jens Meijer drums · Marijn van der Ven bass · Peter Somuah trumpet


The High-life album is an ode to the Ghanaian tradition of highlife music and features the legends of the genre. Highlife has a unique sound with a distinctive finger-picking style of playing on the guitar, minimalistic yet groovy bass lines, percussive keyboard patterns, soulful melody lines by the brass section, and much emphasis on rhythm. The opening track of the album, We give thanks, features Pat Thomas, also known as “the golden voice of Africa”. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, the first musician worldwide to incorporate rap into highlife music, appears on Chop chop. And 93-year old Koo Nimo, who was a leading highlife musician and the first Ghanaian to have their music be put on a CD, narrates some of the origins of the highlife genre. On the ten-track album Peter Somuah, who grew up playing in highlife bands, mixes elements of the highlife genre with jazz, creating what he calls “highlife jazz”. The album emulates the vintage sound from the highlife era, with a modern touch. It also connects Ghana’s older and younger generations of musicians. Besides the members of his Rotterdam-based band, Somuah invited young Ghanaian musicians onto the album. Singer Lamisi Akuka features on African Continent and brings soulful musical influences from the northern part 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 he grew up in. In Mental slavery Somuah sings of the remaining psychological impact of colonialism. Indeed, the very name of the highlife genre refers to the fact that it was originally mostly the colonial elite in Ghana (“high life”) that got to enjoy the music. And in Chop chop, featuring artist Ambolley takes a dig at greedy political leaders. The album conveys heartfelt messages of social justice, healing and gratitude but never fails to encourage the listener to swing along.




Saturday 23, November 2024
Jamboree Sala 1 Plaça Reial, 17, 08002 Barcelona
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