After a cool dinner, over one hundred students of a high school in Aarhus, the second Danish city, walk excitedly to the school theatre for a performance by African Footprint International, a Cape Coast based music and dance group.
They have every good reason to feel enthusiastic having participated in a highly charged and fun packed workshop the previous day with dancers and musicians from African Footprint International.
A loud applause greets the group as they move on stage with a variety of African percussive instruments alongside trumpets, guitars and bells. In the process, a dramatic blend of highlife, jazz and traditional Ghanaian music engulf the school auditorium.
A drum ensemble from the school joined the group on stage drawing more cheers from the audience who were mostly students and teachers, while majority of the students joined two Footprint dancers on stage with “bamaya” and “damba”.
Danish guitarist Otto Dahlgaard later moved on stage with wild tempos thereby turning the evening into a mini Danish Ghanaian festival, as both Ghanaian and Danish rhythms embellished the night, which formed part of activities marking a new academic year for the school.
The group is noted for a delicate adoption of the elements of Ghanaian tradition rhythms, which they noticeably blend with western beats to create a new synthesis that has captivated audiences in Europe, the United States and other parts of Africa.
With three albums to its credit, AFI was established in 2000 by Samuel Kweku Addison, who recognized and appreciated and harnessed the talents of the underprivileged and disabled.
Keld Hosbond, Royal Music Academy (Aarhus), Klejtrup Musikefterskole, Addison’s Mighty Works Aps and www.artsghana.org are supporting the 2014 tour of African Footprint in Denmark.