African Groove Machine

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The Lemon Tree
5 West North Street
Aberdeen
AB24 5AT

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This group was inspired by Okoe Ardyfio – the Ghanaian master drummer and dancer who died in 2021. Okoe met Thomas Annang and Adie Baako-Elias on the beach in Kokrobite , Ghana when they were young teenagers selling coconuts to tourists, and trained Thomas to be a master drummer and Adie to be the lead dancer of his group Akrowa.

Many years later Okoe also met Scottish jazz drummer and composer Tom Bancroft when he visited Kokrobite to study Ghanaian drumming.

This meeting resulted in Tom going back to Kokrobite with his family for 6 weeks to study with Okoe in 2012, and then Okoe and Akrowa coming to Scotland and teaching thousands of Scottish children Ghanaian drumming and dance, and spreading a lot of joy!

The music is composed based on taking the rhythms from traditional Ghanaian drumming patterns, as taught to Tom by Okoe, and adding in a scottish jazz sensibility to place it onto horns. Also Tom has started composing in a similar way with rhythms brought by Thomas Annang – who himself was taught by Okoe.

This group was created to celebrate his life and music and international collaboration, music, dance, and song.

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