By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Ghanaian flute magician Dela Botri with support from Hewale Sounds, recently launched two revolutionary albums “All in One” and “Ghana Bi Your Own” with a magnetic concert at the Goethe-Institut in Accra.
“All In One” comprise 16 tracks of contemporary approaches such as Jazz, Reggae, Highlife, Afrobeat and Calypso that were produced by Wazumbi, Ben Nketiah and GomezBetx while “Ghana Bi Your Own” has 16 songs, which lean heavily towards Ghanaian traditional rhythms with inflections from Palmwine Highlife alongside Adowa, Agbadza and Kpanlogo.
Noted for his dexterity on the atenteben flute, Botri has managed to prove the capabilities of this bamboo instrument, which was discovered by the late Ghanaian musicologist Dr. Epharim Amu and popularized by the late Nana Danso Abiam, founder of the Pan African Orchestra.
Both albums, which were recorded with a vast array of traditional Ghanaian instruments, guitars and horns, reflect aspects of recent directions with his flute alongside explorations he has made into diverse music genres over the past few years.
Undeniably, the albums will open the minds and hearts of listeners to the beauty that is always around them while lifting their spirits to new heights as their infectious rhythms produce a calming effect in these times of economic hardships, pandemics and wars.
In a brief speech, Dr. Amakye Boateng, a lecturer at the Music Department, University of Ghana praised Botri for continuously employing elements of traditional music in his artistic creations while extending them to their contemporary and urban levels.
“You will get lost if you reject your tradition and culture – indeed, traditional music is important for all countries and we must embrace ours and support musicians who continue to promote our musical traditions in their compositions and writings”, he added.
An apostle of traditional / contemporary music, Botri has held workshops in a number of universities in several countries and performed to varied audiences in the United States, Cuba, Algeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Denmark, Germany and Egypt among others.
In recent years, he has participated in the Cubadisco Festival (Cuba), World Music Village (Finland), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Denmark), Pan African Music Festival (Algeria) and joined Liberian star Miatah Fanbulleh to perform at the 2011 Novel Peace Prize Awards in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
The albums were launched by Reverend Thomas Yawson, a songwriter, worship leader and lecturer in praise / worship and was supported by Goethe-Institut Ghana.
Pix – Matthew Hansen