By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Kundum Trio Plus, a quartet led by guitar wizard Akablay on Wednesday exhibited an extraordinary level of improvisation as they fused jazz, highlife, folk and Kumdum rhythms from the Western region of Ghana.
In a virtual performance at the Goethe-Institut in Accra, the group established a reflective interchange between themselves as distinct and infectious rhythms flowed freely in the hall, which was largely empty due to Covid 19 protocols.
With Akablay (guitar), Gaddiel Amoah (bass / cowbell), James Seibu (percussion / trap drums) and Prince Sakason (muted trumpet), the quartet descended into their own world and took the camera crew on a journey that showcased the rich culture of the people of Nzema and other parts of the Western region.
Undeniably, the language of the group is intelligent, streamlined, intricately woven and quietly intense – the musicians seemed to be enjoying themselves as they performed in a relaxed manner while refreshing solos intermittently rocked the performance hall.
Interspersed with stories on the Nzema’s, the music exemplified the band’s divergent style, which freely incorporates elements of various genres that are either scripted or spontaneous thereby creating a multi-cultural mood on stage.
Indeed, during Kundum festival, nights in the Nzema area are turned into a spectacular sight of silhouettes, bright nights and a wonderful ambience filled with infectious Kundum rhythms as waves from the Atlantic Ocean gently pound the beaches.
Kundum Trio Plus is project that was borne out of limitations relating to the Covid 19 pandemic. With four members, the band is able to offer concerts while fully obeying the Covid 19 procedures and restrictions. Indeed, it has engaged in several virtual concerts following the easing of restrictions in Ghana.
Goethe-Institut Ghana supported the concert, which forms part of a series of virtual concerts organized by the Institut in response to Covid 19 restraints and measures.