Ayi Solomon, a percussionist from Ghana was born in 1956 and raised at Mamprobi, a suburb of Accra. He is a self taught musician and composer. He started his musical carrier as a drummer in the erstwhile Ghanaian reggae group Classic Handles that later became The Classic Vibes.
In 1982, Ayi Solomon came to Copenhagen with the Classique Vibes to participate in the Annual Afro Festival, organised then, by Denmark based Ghanaian, Kwabena Manu.
At the end of the festival he went to Germany with Classique Vibes under a one-year management contract playing in American and German clubs. The following year he returned with the band touring Scandinavia.
However, inspired by the new environment and the different musical of styles, he decided to stay in Copenhagen after the tour, to work with different musicians in Denmark. Eventually, Ayi Solomon joined the Danish group, The NEW JUNGLE ORCHESTRA, led by Pierre Doerge. Solo, as he is affectionately called in Denmark, has remained a member of this group for nearly two decades.
Ayi Solomon is a well sought after percussionist in Denmark and list of groups he plays in, is endless. Today, he is working and playing with the following groups and musicians: Danish-Malian basist, Moussa Diallo, Palle Mikkelborg, Simon Spang Hansen, Dalia Faitelson’s Global Sound in 2001, with Jerry Bergonzi, Randy Brecker, Adam Nussbaum, Chris Cheek, Lelo Nika, & Thommy Anderson.
Others are John Sund’s Special Venture/ Acoustic Sense – “World/Fusion,” Hugo Rasmussen, Susy Hyldgaard, Mikkel Nordsø, Klaus Menzer, Jakob Fischer, Uno Mundo – Latin Reggae, Michel Nielsen’s Fulani, Morten Groenvad, Jakob Andersen, John Tchicai, Somalian singer Marian Mursal, Benjamin Koppel, Ed Epstein among others.
Presently, he is working with the Danish Folk Band Himmerland which is taking him around the world, playing gigs Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Chile, Bulgaria, Italy, and Scotland to mention a few.
He has two albums to his credit. The first one ”BACK HOME” his debut CD, is released on Cope Records (Denmark). Majority of the compositions are Solomon’s, and besides being featured as a percussionist he also handles the vocals.
The music, which is hard to put a label on, can best be described as a fusion between African (modern and roots), jazz, pop, rap and funk with a spice of electronic additions. His second album, “Life Force”, portraits Ayi Solomon as a creative, enlightened musician with a broad vision of the kind of sound he meditates on.
Life Force released on Yisol Music, his own label, is a piece of work of an inspired master, accompanied by a group of talented musicians. Here, Ayi Solomon in a high spiritual bliss, expressed through his invigorating drums, chanting and compassionate singing.
“I believe, the world today needs to hear voices and compositions of dedicated artists like myself – a musician and a great humanist with a profound philosophy of life”. “Life Force is a music of celebration, joy, meditation and ecstasy. Indeed, it is a tour-de-force of a deep ocean of melodies and soul awakening beats”, he explains.
Ayi Solomon is a composer with that sophisticated taste for universal elements – mixing jazz, highlife, funk, Latin and traditional Ghanaian rythms. With this exclusive blend of rhythms, Life Force becomes a delightful creation of world-fusion. To music lovers Life Force is a precious gift.
By: Alfred Tamakloe in Copenhagen