By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Ivorian guitarist / composer Constant Boty last week delighted a cheering audience at the Alliance Française in Accra during a magnetic concert that marked 60 years of relations between Ghana and France.
With components of jazz idioms and European classical music alongside rock and diverse African rhythms, Boty thrilled the audience with a succinct style that transcended the usual blend of jazz and world music, which is currently in vogue in many parts of the world.
Undeniably, Boty and his group went into their own world and dished out a brilliant mix of Afro pop and jazz that transmitted a deep cultural dialogue besides a meticulous arrangement, crispy sounds and a cool sonic clarity.
Joined by Ghanaian singer / composer Yasmeen Helwani (The Golden Voice), the group exhibited high energy on stage while stretching its diverse explorations into Afro Pop, Jazz, Classical and traditional African rhythms.
“Boty is an amazing and indeed highly influential songwriter – his background as a classical guitarist has heavily influenced his work – it was a wonderful evening of infectious sounds, rhythms and lovely voices”, said Kofi Mensah, a music enthusiast in Accra.
Earlier, Local Dimension Band led by Aaron Babe surprised the audience with a performance that revealed the beauty, power and diversity of neo traditional Ghanaian and African music with refreshing tunes.
With instruments such as Mbira (Zimbabwe) as well as seperewa, xylophone, prempremsiwa, kpanlogo drums among others, they equally entertained the audience with northern Ghanaian Dagari fusions, Palmwine Highlife, Afro Beat as well as compositions based on Adowa and Kpanlogo rhythms.
Hip Hop / Soul fusion artist K Steez (Coco Stone) opened the concert with issues driven lyrics including “galamsey” (illegal mining) as well as experiences he gathered while living in France, Switzerland, England the United States and other parts of the world.