Ghana Music: Ekow Alabi For Zanzibar

Germany-based Ghanaian musician, Ekow Alabi Savage together with the
Afro-German musician Ade Bantu, left Accra yesterday for Zanzibar to
participate in the 2008 edition of the Sauti Za Busara Music Festival.

Ekow told this writer in a chat that the three-day festival, which takes off today Thursday February 7, will feature over 20 groups from 12 countries selected from East and West Africa, Europe and Japan.

Ekow will play drums when Ade Bantu’s Afrobeat Academy mounts the stage in Zanzibar, which is noted for its rich and diverse culture owing to influences by Arab, Persian, South Asian and African traditions.

Ekow shot to fame in the early 1980s with Roots Anabo, a reggae-biased band that created its own mixture of reggae and highlife known as “Sunlife Music”.

Before moving to Germany where he has lived for nearly two decades, Ekow played drums for renowned African bands and musicians including the late Afro Beat King, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and saxophone virtuoso, Manu Dibango.

In 1984, Ekow and Roots Anabo performed at the famous Reggae Sunsplash Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where they met some top-flight musicians including the Jamaican bassist extraordinaire, producer and bandleader Glen Browne, which led to the recording of their debut album titled Civilization.

Ekow, who intends to commence a live band show at the Mojo Night Club in Accra soon, has also performed with musicians such as Ziggy Marley, Kojo Antwi and Jamaican reggae star Eek-a-Mouse. He has also toured extensively with Vitamin X and Africa Mma, two Ghanaian groups based in Germany.

Ekow’s first solo album Return To Zion, which caught the eyes of critics and promoters alike was recorded in Germany and Jamaica. His latest album, Going for Gold, was released in Accra last year to mark Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary celebration.