We already know and love Mustapha Tettey Addy for his kpanlogo music! He introduced that beautiful Ghanaian drum, rhythm and dance to the West.
The growing fan base proves that the kpanlogo drum is a great, less commercialized alternative to the djembe.
But it’s time we get to know Mustapha a little better. In our interview, he told me about how he became…
A Real African Master Drummer
Mustapha was born into a family of drummers in 1942 and grew up in Avenor, a village of the Ga tribe in Ghana.
Ga traditional drumming is probably the most complicate in Ghana. Mustapha learned these rhythms, songs and dances from his father and older brothers as a young child.
He further deepened his knowledge of traditional music at the University of Ghana and on world tours with Ghana’s National Dance Ensemble.
However, it takes more than just a University degree to become a Master Drummer. In fact, the title “Master Drummer” doesn’t really exist in the Ga language. A better translation of the African word would be “God’s Drummer”.
Mustapha spent years touring Ghana and the neighboring West African countries. On these trips, he studied the traditional rhythms, dances and ceremonies of the various tribes. The result is a number of recorded African drumming albums.
Here’s what’s special about them:
- Preserving some of Africa’s rich musical heritage
Without such records, African traditional music may soon disappear.
- Available to the world for the very first time
Some of these rhythms are normally only to be played for kings and chiefs.
Mustapha obtained special permission of chiefs and elders to record them.