By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Atenteben dynamo Dela Botri last week showcased his versatility and flexibility through various compositions that revealed the results of explorations into traditional Ghanaian music and their contemporary extensions.
Performing alongside Hewale Sounds at the Goethe-Institut in Accra, Botri enchanted the capacity audience with arrangements based on the rhythmic patterns of diverse Ghanaian instruments including wia, korogo, xylophone, gome and seperewa.
With raw energy and passion, the group exhibited a rather sleek, compelling and clever show that constantly drew cheers and applause from the crowd, who appeared to be sharing the joy of experienced performers showcasing their talent.
With a dramatic blend of traditional and western instruments, the group exhibited amazing strength and control coupled with wit and humour from Botri, which virtually energized the audience who trooped to the dance floor to showcase various body movements.
“Anyone can do raw passion but few would execute it with considerable care as Botri”, said James Gordon, a British jazz musician who has followed compositions and performances by the flutist over the past few years.
Accompanied by a solo dancer, the group later lounged into a medley of songs comprising highlife, adowa, agbadza and kpanlogo tunes that brought back memories of old Ghanaian musicians and their evergreen compositions.
A devotee of contemporary music, Botri has held workshops in a number of universities in several countries and performed to varied audiences in the Middle East, Europe, United States and several countries in Africa.
In recent years, he has participated in the Cubadisco Festival (Cuba), World Music Village (Finland), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Denmark), 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.
The performance was organized and supported by the Goethe-Institut in Accra.