The power, beauty and complexity of traditional musical resources from Northern Ghana overwhelm the Youth Home Centre in Tamale as four youthful bands perform to wild cheers.
A cool evening breeze, which constantly sway the leaves of trees that surround the venue, equally seem to carry rhythms from the festival grounds to the leafy environs of the Youth Home Centre.
Youth Home Band eventually win the competition, which is characterized by a bold attempt to effectively fuse diverse Northern rhythms with highlife, jazz, funk, soul, reggae and afro beat among others to create a new synthesis.
Clad in colourful costumes, the groups exhibit showmanship as they struggle to impress the judges, which comprise Selorm Agra (music tutor, Bagabaga Training College), Fuzzy Kombatt (former director of CNC Tamale), Delali Alormenu and (former MUSIGA NR chairman) among others.
Bizung, North Wings and Bright Stars bands took the 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions in the competition, which encourage the extension of local rhythms to their contemporary levels.
Polyrhythmic patterns coupled with ancient praise singing traditions from Northern Ghana surprise the judges who commend the groups for their efforts while admonishing them to continue training and rehearsals.
Despite the apparent lack of harmony and effective blending of local /western instruments, which characterized performances by all groups, the attempt to harness and make use of Northern Ghanaian rhythms in a contemporary vein appears to be in full swing.
A pursuit when fully achieved is likely to result in a subtle musical approach that stand at the interface of tradition and modernity thereby sowing the seeds for full-blown innovative musical creations from the North.
Goethe-Institut Ghana supported the festival, which was organized by the Institute for Music and Development in partnership with Arterial Network Ghana.