Ghanaian flute virtuoso, Dela Botri alongside a 14-piece band and hiplife star Klala, recently launched “Naa Ayele”, a ten-track album with a concert at the Alliance Française in Accra.
“Naa Ayele”, which is the 4th album by Botri, is a vibrant fusion of zouk, salsa and contemporary highlife/kpanlogo rhythms. Indeed, it forcefully reveals the hidden richness of Botri’s neo traditional compositions, which has enchanted audiences all over the world.
The album prominently features the atenteben, a bamboo flute that amazingly harmonizes with all the western instruments employed for the album. These include keyboards, trumpets, trombones, saxophones and acoustic/electronic guitars.
Accompanied by lyrics heavily lined with social messages, “Naa Ayele”, which uncovers the compositional skills of Botri, is definitely on the contemporary/modern tip but has its heart firmly embedded in the elements of traditional music.
With songs in Ga, Ewe, Twi and English, the album equally shows the ability of Botri to fuse various rhythms in high scales and notes resulting in compositions that reveal the beauty of blending cross-cultural rhythms.
A devotee of contemporary music, Botri has held workshops in a number of universities and performed to varied audiences in the Middle East, Europe, USA and several countries in Africa. Last month, he performed with the acclaimed Malian balafon player Keletigui Diabate in Accra.
In recent years, he has participated in the Cubadisco Festival (Cuba), World Music Village (Finland) and Pan African Music Festival (Algeria). He also joined Liberian star Miatah Fanbulleh to perform at the 2011 Novel Peace Prize Awards in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
Renowned ethnomusicologist, Emeritus Prof. J.H. Kwabena Nketia, who has mentored and followed the works of Botri over the past decade, was the special guest of honour with Peace FM’s morning show host, Kwame Sefa Kayi as MC.
“Naa Ayele” was recorded at Atenteben Studios and mastered at Freddima Studios in Accra. The launch/concert is being sponsored by Institut Francais, Alliance Française, Kosmog Collections and Woodin.