Lockdown jazz compositions eclipse Goethe-Institut
Flutist Dela Botri utilized the three-week lockdown in Accra to compose a number of jazz tunes, which are refreshing and compelling
By John Owoo
Flute magician Dela Botri together with some members of Hewale Sounds intertwined jazz with traditional and contemporary Ghanaian rhythms thereby creating an absorbing experience of distinct quality at the Goethe-Institut in Accra.
In a virtual performance owing to Covid - 19 restrictions, the group showcased an unmistakable traditional African hypnotic groove as they vividly portrayed the power, capabilities and competencies of instruments fashioned out of wood and animal skin.
Performing compositions by Botri during the three-week partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi, the musicians demonstrated their individual skills as they fused into a greater whole with sounds that are not only refreshing but equally therapeutic.
Employing an atenteben flute, xylophone, guitar, bass, calabash drum and other percussive instruments, Botri, who is noted for his dedication to traditional music, exhibited amazing skill on the atenteten as absolutely sublime sounds flowed from the stage.
Undeniably, Botri’s fingers moved along the flute with nimble dexterity as a myriad of rhythms flowed through the empty hall. In the process, enchanting compositions from the group appeared to possess the power to nourish the souls of listeners in these uncertain times.
With Edzi Konu (drums), Emmanuel Ohene (bells / rattles), Evans Eduful (guitar), David Odoom (percussion / calabash drum), Maxwell Dagarti (xylophone), Beda Ehrensperger (bass) and Botri on atenteben, the band exhibited their brand of Afro jazz, which has been enriched by the verve of young musicians.
Clad in a colourful costume, the virtuosic flutist revealed an extraordinary fusion where jazz and traditional / contemporary Ghanaian rhythms co-habited in harmony thus ending up in a progressive and compelling manner.
An apostle of traditional / contemporary Ghanaian music, Botri has held workshops in a number of universities and performed to varied audiences in the Middle East, Europe, USA and several countries in Africa.
In 2011, he joined Liberian star Miatah Fanbulleh to perform at the 2011 Novel Peace Prize Awards in the Norwegian capital, Oslo and performed with the late acclaimed Malian balafon player Keletigui Diabate in Bamako (Mali) and Accra (Ghana).
In recent years, he has participated in the Cubadisco Festival (Cuba), World Music Village (Finland), MASA (La Côte d’Ivoire), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (Denmark) and the 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 sponsored by Goethe-Institut Ghana.